The Sopranos gets the prequel treatment with The Many Saints of Newark, a film that features several characters from the groundbreaking mob series back in their younger days. Michael Gandolfini, son of the late, great James Gandolfini, takes on his father’s iconic role, playing a teenage Tony Soprano growing up on the mean streets of Newark. Watch The Many Saints of Newark trailer below.
The Many Saints of Newark Trailer
It’s not hyperbole to say that The Sopranos changed the face of TV. It was the show to kick off the peak TV era, ushering in a wave of titles that focused on extremely flawed protagonists. Without The Sopranos, there would be no Breaking Bad, no Mad Men, no – well, you get the point. The show was a big deal. And now, series creator David Chase is returning to that world with the movie The Many Saints of Newark. Here’s the synopsis:
Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark’s history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters begin to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family’s hold over the increasingly race-torn city. Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities—and whose influence over his impressionable nephew will help make the teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we’ll later come to know: Tony Soprano.
Chase writes and produces the film, with Alan Taylor – who helmed several Sopranos episodes – directing. The cast includes Alessandro Nivola, Michael Gandolfini, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, John Magaro, Michela De Rossi, Ray Liotta, and Vera Farmiga. The film tells the tale of “Tony Soprano’s early years, explored through his relationship with his mobster uncle, Dickie Moltisanti – a man who would steer Tony toward the underworld life, despite his best intentions to the contrary.”
A Gangster Epic for All Audiences
The official copy for the film stresses that The Many Saints of Newark is “a gangster epic for all audiences – whether you are familiar with the series or not.” In other words, even if you’ve managed to never watch The Sopranos, you’d still be able to watch Many Saints without confusion. That makes sense since this is a prequel, after all.
That said, it’s likely the film will resonate the most with fans of the show. Just hearing James Gandolfini’s voice at the beginning of this trailer made me nostalgic for the series, and seeing Michael Gandolfini – who looks a lot like his father – step into that role is a little spooky. That said, if I have one complaint about this trailer, it’s that the filmmakers tried a little too hard to make everyone look similar to the actors who played these same characters on The Sopranos. Vera Farmiga in particular, playing Tony’s toxic mother, is sporting a fake nose that’s very distracting. I’m sure it’ll be fine in the context of the film itself, but I have to admit I was slightly taken aback when she popped up here with that faux schnoz. But still, I can’t wait to see this.
The Many Saints of Newark (which has the clunky, Star Wars-ish title The Many Saints of Newark: A Sopranos Story in the trailer) will be released in theaters in the US on October 1, 2021 and will be available on HBO Max 31 days from the theatrical release.
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