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Sopranos Prequel: James Gandolfini's Son Michael to Play Young Tony in The Many Saints of Newark THIS FRIDAY!

playahaitian

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Many Saints of Newark star Michael Gandolfini was 'proud' of his dad after watching The Sopranos

By Derek Lawrence
October 01, 2021 at 09:30 AM EDT



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"It was time."
That's Sopranos creator David Chase's succinct explanation for why he finally decided to return to his beloved universe with the highly-anticipated prequel film The Many Saints of Newark. For the latest installment of EW's Around the Table, Chase chatted with his saints, Michela De Rossi, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Michael Gandolfini, Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Vera Farmiga, Ray Liotta, and director Alan Taylor.
"I wish I could say I did it for the money, but I didn't; you cheaped out on me," joked Farmiga, who plays Livia Soprano, a role originated on the series by Nancy Marchand. "I did it because look at the many saints sitting around this table. Look at the caliber… It's just an incredible privilege to be able to step into, honestly, one of the best roles ever written for a woman in television, and to be graced and selected by that guy over there, and to be believed in that I could do it, is really humbling."

Written and produced by Chase, Many Saints is set amid the Newark, N.J., riots of the 1960s, which broke out as a result of tensions flaring between the city's Black and Italian residents. Following the footsteps of his late father, James Gandolfini, Michael Gandolfini (The Deuce) stars as a young Tony Soprano who's being groomed by his uncle, Dickie Moltisanti (Nivola), the father of Christopher (Michael Imperioli) and cousin of Carmela (Edie Falco).
'The Many Saints of Newark'

| CREDIT: BARRY WETCHER/WARNER BROS.
"I'd spent 25 years as a movie actor wondering why the hell I hadn't been offered a role like this," shares Nivola. "Better late than never."

Nivola waited longer than Gandolfini has lived, considering the actor is still only 22 years old. But the challenge of his age and minimal acting credits paled in comparison to the emotional and professional weight of taking on his father's career-defining role, which many consider the greatest character in TV history.
"The whole process was one of the most incredible things I've ever gotten to do in my life," says Gandolfini, who was only 8 when the series wrapped in 2007. "First, becoming a fan of the show for the first time. I was a kid; I didn't know what it was. I didn't know what it was about. Falling in love with the show was an incredible experience for me, and being very proud of my dad and proud of everyone that I've known for a long time. And then going through a very rigorous and complicated audition process, where, at first, I was conflicted on whether or not we should do it, or what is everyone going to say, and then slowly falling in love with David's writing and then being scared that I wasn't going to get it. I have to get it. I hope I get it. At the end of the day, I got to work with these people here, which has been one of the greatest gifts. This is the first time I've ever gotten emotional. Everyone trusted me."
CREDIT: BARRY WETCHER/WARNER BROS.
Nivola jumped in to say of a visibly emotional Gandolfini: "We all know how humble and open-hearted he was throughout the whole shoot and looking to us for guidance, which not unlike Tony was probably a bad idea. But also just that he was so able to separate out the emotional side of his relationship to his dad and that role and just approach it in a purely forensic way that you would any character and to get as detailed about that as possible. I can't imagine being tasked with that."
The Many Saints of Newark is now playing in theaters and on HBO Max.
 

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The Many Saints of Newark Ending Explained: An Answer to a Lingering Sopranos Question
The prequel to the classic HBO show solves a long-simmering puzzle.
By Mike Avila
Updated: 1 Oct 2021 7:15 pm
Posted: 1 Oct 2021 3:30 pm

Warning: Major spoilers follow for The Many Saints of Newark.

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Fourteen years after The Sopranos went off the air in the most polarizing end scene in television history, we finally get a chance to revisit the legendary characters from the award-winning HBO series.
The Many Saints of Newark is a prequel story set in the Sopranos universe, albeit about 30 years earlier than where the series began. Available now to watch on HBO Max as well as in theaters, the film is already garnering reviews that range from lavish praise to harsh condemnation. That makes sense. When a show has as devoted a following as The Sopranos does, any new related project faces a mountain of unrealistic expectations.
That said, there are a number of scenes in Many Saints that almost seem gift-wrapped for fans, a way of saying, “Hey, we know you missed these guys. So here’s Silvio making sure nobody messes with his hair, and there’s young Artie Bucco foreshadowing his future in the restaurant business!”
Have you seen The Many Saints of Newark: A Sopranos Story?
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But The Many Saints of Newark also manages to fill in several important character beats and plot points that were alluded to over the course of The Sopranos, while also answering one of the show’s biggest lingering questions… Read on for all the details on the mystery of Dickie Moltisanti!
The Many Saints of Newark: Who's Who in the Sopranos Prequel Movie

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The Many Saints of Newark: Who Killed Dickie Moltisanti?
Dickie (played by Alessandro Nivola) is the father of Christopher Moltisanti, Tony’s nephew. Dickie is the heart and soul of the movie, and much more of a father figure to young Tony Soprano (Michael Gandolfini) than his actual father, “Johnny Boy” Soprano (Jon Bernthal). Viewers of the series know Tony idolized Dickie; his name and his legend came up several times.
The most notable discussion of Dickie in The Sopranos was in 2002’s “For All Debts Public and Private,” Episode 40 of the series. That’s the one where Tony tells Christopher that a crooked cop named Barry Haydu killed Dickie on his front lawn on orders from Jilly Ruffalo as payback for gouging one of Ruffalo’s eyes out. The episode ends with Christopher killing Haydu in his house.
The thing is, the question of Haydu’s complicity in Dickie’s death has remained an open question for the past two decades. In the moments before Christopher kills him, Haydu claims he has no idea what Christopher’s talking about. He tells Christopher he’s being set up, before saying “I’m sorry” as Christopher shoots him. It’s clear that this incident was a way for Tony to solidify Christopher’s loyalty to him; what’s been less clear until now is how accurate the story Tony told Christopher is.
How the Sopranos Got Supercharged By the Birth of Binge-Watching

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Indeed, as The Many Saints of Newark’s understated yet still shocking climax shows us, Haydu didn’t kill Dickie. Instead, Dickie is gunned down outside his house – in the driveway, not exactly on the front lawn – by a hired gun. (Dickie’s carrying TV trays when he dies, though Christopher had always been told growing up that his father was carrying a crib for his infant son in his final moments.) When the shooter calls his employer to confirm that “it’s done,” we learn who really had Dickie whacked.
It was Corrado “Junior” Soprano who ordered the hit.
Why Did Junior Kill Dickie Moltisanti?
The antagonism Junior feels towards Dickie grows throughout the movie. Young Junior (played by Corey Stoll) shares many of the characteristics we saw in his elder version on The Sopranos. He’s petty, vindictive and monumentally insecure. He’s jealous of Dickie’s style and swagger and the way he can command a room. Junior is often used as the punchline for jokes, especially by Dickie, who in one scene chides him for letting someone else insinuate Junior’s lady friend was stepping out on him. Another time, Junior falls and injures his back, and spots Dickie laughing at his misfortune. Junior felt disrespected, and he also viewed Dickie as a serious impediment to rising up the ranks of the DiMeo crime family. That combination led him to call for Dickie’s execution.
So now we know for certain that the killer cop story Tony told Christopher years later was false. Depending on one’s perspective and view of Tony’s manipulative nature – and he was a puppet master, to be sure – it was either a ruse to bring his erratic nephew back into the fold and get him under his thumb, a way to take out a problematic cop who was somehow on his To-Do List, or a combination of the two. Remember, at that point in the series, Tony and Christopher’s relationship had deteriorated badly. Tony didn’t trust Chris because of his drug problems, and the younger Moltisanti had serious doubts his uncle had his best interests at heart.
Sopranos Prequel Post Credits Scene: Harold McBrayer Lives
There’s a brief scene shortly after the Many Saints credits start where we see Leslie Odom Jr.’s character Harold McBrayer. McBrayer served as an antagonist for Dickie throughout the film, a Black criminal and parallel to Dickie’s Italian mob player who even rivaled one another for the same woman (Michela De Rossi's doomed Giuseppina).
In the mid-credits scene, we see that McBrayer has moved his family into a white neighborhood – with those same white neighbors staring unhappily at their new neighbors. He has a huge wad of cash that he pulls out to pay the movers, and he’s clearly still on his way up in the criminal world, while Dickie is now dead and buried.
But in typical David Chase fashion, the resolution of this 19-year-old plot line still leaves certain questions unanswered. Specifically, why the cop told Christopher “I’m sorry” right before he was shot in “For All Debts Public and Private.” If Haydu didn’t shoot Dickie, what was he apologizing for?
Also left unanswered, and likely we’ll never know the truth to this, is whether Tony ever knew that his beloved Uncle Dickie was offed by his not-so-beloved Uncle Junior. It’s hard to imagine, but not impossible, to think Tony would let that kind of betrayal go without retribution. And it’s not like he didn’t have substantial animosity towards Junior at times anyway. So it appears unlikely that he knew the actual truth about Dickie’s murder. (Indeed, perhaps no one knew outside of Junior and the trigger man.)
But we can’t know for certain. And that’s kind of how The Sopranos always worked, didn’t it? It didn’t always give you all the answers you want, just the ones you need. Just like life.
 
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man-machine

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It can't stand on its own as a movie. If you never watched the series I don't know how much impact this movie has on you. For viewers who have watched the series many times, it has more substance because you're filling in the gaps. There are lots of Easter eggs and callbacks for fans but ultimately this is a film that didn't need to be made. If you never watched the Sopranos I would not recommend starting here.
 

ugk

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I saw it last night and thought it was fucking awful. There was no storyline, it was just an incoherent 2-hour nostalgia trip. The only bright spots of this movie were the casting and the performances of Livia and Dickie. Both were incredible, and it's a shame it was wasted on this god-awful movie. I really wanted to like the storyline with Harold, but nigga shoots up the heads of an Italian crime family and we never hear from him again? Just terrible. No explanation why Junior orders a hit on Dickie?
 

Database Error

wtf
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It can't stand on its own as a movie. If you never watched the series I don't know how much impact this movie has on you. For viewers who have watched the series many times, it has more substance because you're filling in the gaps. There are lots of Easter eggs and callbacks for fans but ultimately this is a film that didn't need to be made. If you never watched the Sopranos I would not recommend starting here.
All I needed to know. I wasn't about to watch them cac no wayz tho.
 

HotNixon36

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It can't stand on its own as a movie. If you never watched the series I don't know how much impact this movie has on you. For viewers who have watched the series many times, it has more substance because you're filling in the gaps. There are lots of Easter eggs and callbacks for fans but ultimately this is a film that didn't need to be made. If you never watched the Sopranos I would not recommend starting here.
I saw the movie, but never could get into the show.

I did a little reading on the characters. It all made sense.

Pretty good movie to me.

 

dugington

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Registered
Shit wasn't a good movie to me because they tried to squeeze too much into 2 hours.
Story wasn't flowing. It basically was a series of loose, sometimes violent events meant to be nostalgic.

IDK....Maybe it could've worked if they had more run time or a better editor.
3/10
 

Dota

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BGOL Investor
Great job by Leslie Odom Jr. He was the highlight of the movie IMO

Also I see why Christopher was so fucked up looking at his background with his family.
 
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kdogg3270

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I saw it last night and thought it was fucking awful. There was no storyline, it was just an incoherent 2-hour nostalgia trip. The only bright spots of this movie were the casting and the performances of Livia and Dickie. Both were incredible, and it's a shame it was wasted on this god-awful movie. I really wanted to like the storyline with Harold, but nigga shoots up the heads of an Italian crime family and we never hear from him again? Just terrible. No explanation why Junior orders a hit on Dickie?
that was suggested all through the movie. rememeber dickie making fun of him in front of everyone, suggesting somebody else was with his wife? and the instance where dude fell on his back, and he looked up and dickie was laughing at him? Junior / Corrado was petty and bitter in the sopranos, and he was the same way in this pilot.
 

gene cisco

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2 hour pilot episode...

started off really nice
If it was a pilot, it was good. If it is a just a standalone movie, it's garbage.
He laughed at him, I guess.

But yeah, this sucked
Yeah, that look he gave him when he laughed. Then he couldn't let it go when he was with the chick. And yeah, this shit was garbage.
 

Lurk Diggler

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Was way too much hype for what ended up as 2 hr Easter egg fest for the sopranos series. nothing had any weight or cohesiveness. Harold was like Omar with some of the shit he was doing killing mob dudes, participating in riots having sit downs with Frank Lucas…? And then just chilling on the block waving at white people. This shoulda been a 20-30 min YouTube video for fan service
 

TENT

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BGOL Investor
I agree the movie was awful.

Junior orders the hit on Dickie mainly because he is jealous of Dickie.
It really isn't about the jokes of his Goomar(comare) cheating on him or him laughing at Junior falling down.
It was jealously and insecurity b/c Dickie was the better man and better earner and was always gonna make Junior look bad.

The movie didn't do a great job of showing it because it had so much other dumb shit going down.

Let's talk about how there is no Uncle Sally. It was all a figment of Dickie imagination.

Sopranos has made it normal that many of the characters have mental illusions.

I saw it last night and thought it was fucking awful. There was no storyline, it was just an incoherent 2-hour nostalgia trip. The only bright spots of this movie were the casting and the performances of Livia and Dickie. Both were incredible, and it's a shame it was wasted on this god-awful movie. I really wanted to like the storyline with Harold, but nigga shoots up the heads of an Italian crime family and we never hear from him again? Just terrible. No explanation why Junior orders a hit on Dickie?
 

Amajorfucup

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The Many Saints of Newark Ending Explained: An Answer to a Lingering Sopranos Question
The prequel to the classic HBO show solves a long-simmering puzzle.
By Mike Avila
Updated: 1 Oct 2021 7:15 pm
Posted: 1 Oct 2021 3:30 pm

Warning: Major spoilers follow for The Many Saints of Newark.
.
Movie just came out 48 hours ago. How bout a spoiler tag my man?
 

TimRock

Don't let me be misunderstood
BGOL Investor
what i don't understand, if
Especially the Livia actor.
Vera Farmiga...if i was into white women.......yeah, she's a good actress. She was good in Bates Motel and she's in all the Conjuring related movies.
 

Duece

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
BGOL Investor
It was a watchable meh but it needs more...

Limited series or something.
 

Quek9

K9
BGOL Investor
This is True. There is some fine acting in this Movie. Portraying characters that have already been done is a tough challenge, to say the least, and these people really pull that off. Especially the Livia actor.
It was a disorganized mess but I enjoyed it because I was a fan of the show.
 
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