It's been 20 years since The Sopranos first introduced the world to Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and the various characters of his New Jersey crime syndicate, but the show's popularity hasn't wavered a bit since that divisive fade-to-black ending that may or may not have signaled the mafioso's demise.
While fans will have to continue relying on frame-by-frame breakdowns of the final scene and slips of the tongue by creator David Chase to know what really happened to our duck-loving mob boss, Chase will soon take fans back in time to showcase some of the moments we didn't get to see from the Family's history by way of a prequel film titled The Many Saints of Newark.
Here's a rundown of everything we know about this bonus story from the world of The Sopranos so far.
It'll involve a character you know. Sort of. The Many Saints of Newark will journey back to the 1960s, at a time when racial tensions were high in New Jersey, especially between Italian-Americans and African-Americans. Alessandro Nivola will star as Dickie Moltisanti, the man who mentored Tony Soprano and was also Christopher's (Michael Imperioli) father. Fans will recall that in The Sopranos, Tony and Chrissy acted on a vendetta against Moltisanti's supposed killer: a detective who had since retired. Moltisanti was the cousin of Carmela Soprano (Edie Falco), which is why Tony often referred to Chrissy as his nephew.
Michael Gandolfini will play young Tony Soprano. Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late James Gandolfini, who originated the role of Tony Soprano, will take on the role of young Tony. Deadline reports that though extensive auditions were held for the role of Tony, Gandolfini's ability to copy Tonys' mannerisms coupled with his natural resemblance to the character scored him the part.
The rest of the cast is stacked. Details about the additional characters in The Many Saints of Newark are still slim, but fans can expect to see some familiar faces, including Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Corey Stoll and Billy Magnussen.
Chase co-wrote the script. Although this era of reboots and revivals and recycling projects galore often means taking properties out of the hands of their creators, this film won't make that mistake. David Chase himself has co-written the script for The Many Saints of Newark with Lawrence Konner, who previously wrote three episodes of the original series. Meanwhile, the film will be directed by Alan Taylor, who helmed several episodes of the show and even won an Emmy for his work behind the lens of Season 6's "Kennedy And Heidi," which, perhaps not coincidentally, was a pivotal piece of Christopher's story.
The film will hit theaters. Fans can still stream all six seasons of The Sopranos on HBO, but they'll have to buy a ticket to check out The Many Saints of Newark, as the project is being developed by New Line Cinema for a theatrical debut. No word yet on when the movie will make its box office debut.