A first trailer has arrived for The Many Saints of Newark, the eagerly awaited prequel to hit TV show The Sopranos.
When mob drama The Sopranos concluded its hit six-season run back in 2007, fans were left confused by a notoriously ambiguous ending that seemed to leave the door open for a later continuation of the series. With the passing of actor James Gandolfini in 2013 however, it seemed that was the end of The Sopranos. How could you bring back The Sopranos without its leading man, neurotic New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano?
Well, series creator David Chase found a way to bring back Tony. Not the aging suburban mobster of the series, but a young Tony Soprano rising up the ladder of New Jersey's underworld.
The Many Saints of Newark is an upcoming prequel movie that explores Tony Soprano's younger years. Set in the New Jersey city of Newark in 1967, the film sees a young Tony caught up in the notorious race riots of that year as tensions rise between the city's African-American and Italian-American communities. As the city's ruling DiMeo crime family begins to lose their footing, Tony seizes an opportunity to become the city's new crimelord.
Fittingly, the role of the young Tony is occupied by James Gandolfini's son, Michael Gandolfini. Michael was inspired to become an actor following his father's passing, but only has a couple of small roles under his belt to date. The Many Saints of Newark will see if he can fill his father's considerable shoes in his first lead role.
The cast also includes Alessandro Nivola as Tony's crime boss uncle Dickie Moltisanti, father of The Sopranos' Christopher Moltisanti. Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Ray Liotta, Vera Farmiga, Billy Magnussen and John Magaro round out the ensemble.
The film is directed by Alan Taylor, who helmed several episodes of the original series. David Chase has written the script along with Lawrence Konner, who also contributed to the TV show. Along with The Sopranos, Chase is known for his work on TV shows like The Rockford Files, Northern Exposure and I'll Fly Away.
Premiering on US cable network HBO in 1999, The Sopranos followed the ups and downs of Tony Soprano, a New Jersey mob boss who contends with running his criminal empire while managing his tumultuous family and attending therapy sessions.
The show quickly became HBO's signature series, winning a loyal audience and drawing acclaim from critics and awards bodies. Over the course of its six-season run it garnered 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globes, along with Peabody Awards for its first two seasons. Between 2000 and 2003, James Gandolfini was nominated for a Best Television Actor Golden Globe award four years in a row, winning the first of those years. The actor was Emmy nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for each of the show's six seasons, winning for three of them. Both Rolling Stone and TV Guide have named The Sopranos the best TV show of all time, while in 2013 the Writer's Guild of America called it the best-written TV series of all time. The show is widely credited with ushering in what has become known as the "Golden Age" of American TV.
The Many Saints of Newark is in Irish cinemas from October 22nd. The first trailer has been released by Warner Brothers, offering a first look at Michael Gandolfini in the role that made his father a TV icon. You can watch it below.