The first set photos from HBO's upcoming Sopranos prequel movie are here—and Michael Gandolfini, as one would expect, makes for a perfect young Tony Soprano. The Many Saints of Newark was reportedly shooting a scene in Brooklyn earlier this week with the 19-year-old Gandolfini and his co-star, Jon Bernthal, the Daily Mail reports.
It's still unclear what the scene involved or who Bernthal is even playing in the movie, but the photos make one thing abundantly clear—Michael Gandolfini was an inspired choice to take over his late father's role. He seems pretty stoked on it, too:
Gandolfini may be dressed like he's ready for his walk-on in That 70s Show, with that double denim and bouncy ass Kelso hair, but Newark is reportedly set during the 1967 Newark riots. Of course, Tony was supposed to be in elementary school in the late 60s, and we already saw him as a little kid in the 60s-era flashback from "Down Neck," so who knows what's going on, exactly. Either Sopranos creator David Chase retconned Tony's age up a few years for Newark, or the movie's plot will stretch into Tony's teenage years in the 1970s.
As for Bernthal, we may not know who he's playing yet, but he's looking pretty goddamn familiar in that costume. We saw Tony's dad, Johnny Boy, dressed almost exactly the same (minus the jacket) in that "Down Neck" flashback, and the odds that he and co-star Vera Farmiga will play Johnny Boy and Livia Soprano seems like a bet even Davey Scatino should take.
The Many Saints of Newark is helmed by longtime Sopranos director Alan Taylor and based off a script co-written by Chase himself. The movie's not due out until September 2020, but if these behind-the-scenes pictures and the increasingly stacked cast list is any indication, this one's going to be worth the wait.
Update (4/12): It looks like the film is still titled The Many Saints of Newark, despite earlier reports. Great news, since just calling the thing Newark (as this post previously identified the movie) would've been lame as hell.
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