sopranos prequel movie cast ray liotta

Ray Liotta is going back to his mob movie roots. The GoodFellas actor is the latest name to join the Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark. There’s no word on who Liotta is playing, but there’s a full-circle element to this casting. Back when The Sopranos was still in development, Liotta was considered to play the lead of Tony Soprano. The actor turned the part down, however, because he wanted to focus on films. The role eventually went to James Gandolfini, and the rest is TV history.

Deadline broke the news about Ray Liotta joining the Sopranos prequel movie cast. This makes Liotta the 27th actor from GoodFellas to join the world of The Sopranos, believe it or not. [Editor’s note: that’s not a joke!] Of course, the most prominent was Lorraine Bracco, who played Dr. Melfi on the series and Liotta’s wife in GoodFellas.

“I am thrilled to be working with David Chase and Alan Taylor on The Many Saints of Newark,” Liotta said. “David’s talent is unmatched and the directing of Alan Taylor makes this even more exciting. I respect them both immensely and look forward to making this special project with New Line.”

Adding Liotta to the mix is a great choice, as he’ll fit in perfectly with this world. He joins a cast that includes Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen, Corey Stoll, and Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late James Gandolfini. The younger Gandolfini is playing the young Tony Soprano in the movie, which is “set in the era of the Newark riots in the ’60s, when African Americans and Italian Americans in the city were at each other’s throats. That clash became lethal when it spread to gangsters of each group.”

Veteran Sopranos director Alan Taylor is helming the film, while Sopranos creator David Chase is handling the script. “I’m still very worried about [returning to the Sopranos], but I became interested in Newark, where my parents came from, and where the riots took place,” Chase said previously. “I started thinking about those events and organized crime, and I just got interested in mixing those two elements.”

Beyond the brief synopsis above, specific details about The Many Saints of Newark are being kept under wraps. We do know that several characters from The Sopranos will likely appear, and we also know that Alessandro Nivola is playing Dickie Moltisanti, father of Sopranos main character Christopher Moltisanti (played by yet another GoodFellas cast member, Michael Imperioli).

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