James Gandolfini's Son To Play Young Tony In 'The Sopranos' Prequel Film

Michael Gandolfini will be stepping into his late father's shoes to play the younger version of James Gandolfini's most iconic role. The Deuce actor will be starring as a young Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark, the prequel film to The Sopranos, David Chase's seminal HBO crime drama series. Gandolfini will be joining a cast that already includes Cory Stoll, Jon Bernthal, and Vera Farmiga.Variety reports that Gandolfini has been cast to play a young Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark, which will be set during the Newark race riots of July 1967 as "the conflicts between the gangsters of the groups became especially lethal." Around 26 people died and hundreds were injured in New Jersey's largest city.

Gandolfini said in a statement following his announcement:

"It's a profound honor to continue my dad's legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano. I'm thrilled that I am going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for 'The Many Saints of Newark.'"

That talent, in addition to Cory Stoll, Jon Bernthal, and Vera Farmiga, includes Alessandro Nivola and Billy Magnussen. Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World and episodes of the original Sopranos series) will be directing the New Line film penned by series creator David Chase and producer Lawrence Konner.

But in addition to being a star-studded project, The Many Saints of Newark will also be a touching passing-of-the-torch, as the younger Gandolfini takes on the role of fictional New Jersey crime boss that James Gandolfini originated. Complex, turmoiled, and uncomfortably likable, Tony Soprano was an antihero at the forefront of the Golden Age of Peak TV, laying out the path for Breaking Bad's Walter White and Mad Men's Don Draper to follow. Gandolfini played the role over the course of six seasons from 1999 to 2007 and won three Primetime Emmys, one Golden Globe, and three SAG awards. It would remain his most iconic role until the actor's death in 2013.

I'm not sure about Michael Gandolfini's acting skills, but the 19-year-old actor has already built an impressive resume, recently starring in HBO's The Deuce. He seems to have the HBO affiliation in common with his father. And we know he will have the family resemblance down pat.