Following in the footsteps of Sex and the City and Entourage, another HBO series is getting the movie treatment: The Sopranos. Considering the show–perhaps the greatest to ever air on television, or stream on any platform, for that matter–concluded over a decade ago and a few of its stars, including James Gandolfini and Frank Vincent, have passed away, the proposed film will not take the sequel form, but rather go back in time.
Deadline reports New Line has picked up David Chase’s screenplay The Many Saints of Newark, which takes place in Newark back in the 1960s. It was a tumultuous time in New Jersey as Italians and African-Americans clashed and the gangsters fought it out in deadly ways. Although Chase scripted alongside Lawrence Konner, he will not be directing the project, which is disappointing news for those that admired his unfairly overlooked Not Fade Away. In terms of which characters from the original show may return, the trade reports:
The time period indicates there will be room for Tony Soprano’s father, Giovanni “Johnny Boy,” the former captain of the Soprano crew (played in flashbacks by Joseph Siravo), and a younger version of his wife Livia (played indelibly in the show’s first season by Nancy Marchand), and Tony’s uncle Junior, played by Dominic Chianese.
“David is a masterful storyteller and we, along with our colleagues at HBO, are thrilled that he has decided to revisit, and enlarge, the Soprano universe in a feature film,” Warner Bros.’ Emmerich said. In an era where nostalgia reigns king in terms of what gets greenlit, we can’t say we’re entirely surprised at the news, and at least Chase is involved, not to mention a story that seems, at best, only loosely involved with the events of his beloved show. With a finished script and a director search underway soon, perhaps casting will commence faster than imagined, so stay tuned for updates.
Let’s just hope the standards don’t crumble.