'Sopranos' Prequel Movie Will Feature A Young Tony Soprano

The Sopranos creator David Chase has answered a very pressing question regarding his Sopranos prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark: will we see Tony Soprano in the film? The answer – yes. Since the film is set in the 1960s, it enables Chase and company to skirt around the tragic fact that James Gandolfini, who so famously played Tony, died in 2013. As a result, the Tony we see in The Many Saints of Newark will be around 8-years-old.

I still quite haven't gotten used to the idea of a Sopranos prequel movie, but I'm curious to see how it all turns out. Sopranos mastermind David Chase penned the script for the film, along with Lawrence Konner, and Sopranos series director Alan Taylor is at the helm. Recently, it was revealed that Alessandro Nivola had been cast as Dickie Moltisanti, father of Sopranos character Christopher Moltisanti, in the film ("Moltisanti" translates as "Many Saints", so it makes sense that the Moltisanti family is at the center of the film).

Now, Chase has provided a little more insight into the movie. Speaking with Deadline, Chase confirmed that a young Tony Soprano will be part of the Sopranos prequel cast. "The thing that interested me most was Tony's boyhood," Chase said. "I was interested in exploring that." Chase also added: "The movie will deal with the tensions between the blacks and whites at the time, and Tony Soprano will be part of this, but as a kid."

The Many Saints of Newark is set against the 1967 Newark race riots, which would make Tony about 8 years old in the story (the character's official birthday is August 24, 1959, just in case you want to store that bit of trivia for a future game of Quizzo). We actually saw Tony around this age on The Sopranos series during a flashback, where he was played by young actor Bobby Borriello.

In the interview, Chase adds that he was hesitant to make the movie for a long time (The Sopranos is about to turn 20-years-old, having first debuted on January 10, 1999). But Chase became more interested in the project as a way of looking back at his own personal history. "I'm still very worried about it, but I became interested in Newark, where my parents came from, and where the riots took place...I started thinking about those events and organized crime, and I just got interested in mixing those two elements."

The Sopranos is one of the best shows of all time (no hyperbole), so I'm hopeful the film will turn out well. Still, it'll be strange to watch a Sopranos-related project without James Gandolfini. As great as the supporting cast, and the writing, and the directing were on the series, Gandolfini's iconic performance is what really made the show special.

Casting is currently underway for The Many Saints of Newark, so we'll likely know who is playing young Tony, and other characters, soon.