Deadline is exclusively reporting that David Chase has found the actor to play the young Tony Soprano in The Sopranos prequel film The Many Saints of Newark, James Gandolfini’s son, Michael Gandolfini.
David Chase created The Sopranos, which focused on New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano, dealing with personal and professional issues in his home and business life, which affects his mental state that leads him to seek professional psychiatric counselling. The series ran for six seasons on HBO through 1999 to 2007.
Michael Gandolfini’s credits include Ocean’s Eight and the HBO drama series The Deuce. According to the report, insiders said that his screen presence, mastery of Tony’s mannerisms, coupled with his resemblance to the elder Gandolfini made him the standout choice for the role because no one there understood the character better.
Speaking with Deadline, Michael said:
It’s a profound honour to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano. I’m thrilled that I’m 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.
The film is set to take place during the 1960’s, when the African-Americans and the Italians of Newark were at each other’s throats, and amongst the gangsters of each group, those conflicts became especially lethal. It was revealed back in March that a number of characters from the TV series will make an appearance in the film, though we’re not sure as to who it will be. In July it was reported that New Line attached Alan Taylor to the project.