'Sopranos' Prequel Gets a Name and Release Date

Following in the steps of Deadwood, HBO's beloved crime series, The Sopranos, will live on in the form of a feature-length movie. However, unlike the Deadwood film, this new Sopranos story will arrive as an origin-style prequel story rather than a continuation of the original story. While this movie has been talked about quite a bit over the last few months, with casting news being revealed on a consistent basis, things have now been made official. The Sopranos prequel has an actual release date as well as a new title.

On Thursday morning, it was revealed that the Sopranos prequel is officially being titled Newark, a shortened version of the previous title, The Many Saints of Newark. Additionally, Newark will open in theaters (not on HBO) on September 25, 2020.

The film takes place during the Newark riots in the 1960s, and will set the stage for the beginning of The Sopranos, which first premiered back in 1999. More specifically, the plot of the film will focus on the character Dickie Moltisanti, who was mentioned quite a bit in the original series but never actually shown. The lead is set to be played by Alessandro Nivola.

In the movie, Nivola is joined by Vera Farmiga, Ray Liotta, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Bill Magnussen, John Magaro, and Michael Gandolfini. That last casting decision was easily the biggest for Sopranos fans, as Michael Gandolfini is the son of original Sopranos star James Gandolfini, who passed away in 2013. Michael will play a younger version of same role that his father brought to life: Tony Soprano.

"It's a profound honor to continue my dad's legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano," Gandolfini said after he had signed onto the role. "I'm thrilled that I am going to have the opportunity to work with David Chace and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for The Many Saints of Newark."

Newark is directed by Alan Taylor, with Nicole Lambert and Marcus Viscidi serving as executive producers.

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