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The Sopranos Prequel Film Casts Tony's Mentor

The film is set in the 1960s, when Tony's a teenager

Megan Vick

The Sopranos prequel film has found its lead and it's a character who had a large impact on the world of the original series but was never seen. Alessandro Nivola is in final talks to play Dickie Moltisanti, Tony's (James Gandolfini) mentor and Christopher's (Michael Imperioli) father, in the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Many Saints of Newark takes place in the 1960s, more than 30 years before the HBO series, when Italians and African-Americans were essentially at war in New Jersey. Moltisanti is described as a "charismatic but violent man" who falls in love with his own father's extremely young bride. He's the mentor to a teenage Tony Soprano, who is under Moltisanti's tutelage after Tony's father goes to prison. Other Sopranos fan-favorite characters are also expected to appear in the film.

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New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. are collaborating on the project with original series creator David Chase writing the script. The film will get a theatrical release. The Sopranos is one of the most critically acclaimed television series in TV history and is often credited with creating the mold for TV anti-heroes. The series ran from 1999 to 2007 on HBO and won 21 Emmy Awards.

James Gandolfini, The Sopranos​

James Gandolfini, The Sopranos

Bobby Bank, WireImage