The Many Saints of Newark, a planned movie set before the events of HBO's The Sopranos, has been delayed until Fall 2020, the latest scheduling shift due to the production and release woes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The series was previously delayed in April, shortly after the pandemic sent most of the world into lockdown. At that time, the plan had been to release the movie in March, but as that date inches closer, it seems unlikely that release slates will have returned to normal. So far, few movies have been released theatrically in the post-pandemic era that weren't expected to be massive box office blockbusters.
The New Line Cinema release will now open on September 24, 2021. The news broke via Variety. It seems likely that New Line will release the movie day-and-date with HBO Max, which has been Warner Bros.' stated release plan for all its 2021 theatrical films.
"I was interested in Newark and life in Newark at that time," series creator David Chase said in a 2019 interview. "I used to go to down there every Saturday night for dinner with my grandparents. But the thing that interested me most was Tony's boyhood. I was interested in exploring that."
Chase also said at the time that the movie would "deal with the tensions between the blacks and whites at the time," reflecting the fact that the movie is set during the Newark riots. New Jersey racial tensions were a key part of the Bruce Springsteen song "Atlantic City," which was briefly considered to be the theme for The Sopranos. Bruce Springsteen's guitarist, Steven Van Zandt, played Silvio Dante on the series.
The movie will include Tony Soprano, originally played by the late James Gandolfini, only as a child. Gandolfini's son, Michael Gandolfini, will play the role.
Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Marvel's The Punisher) stars as Giovanni Francis "Johnny Boy" Soprano, the father of crime boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), originally portrayed by Joseph Siravo in six episodes of the HBO drama. Starring as Giovanni's wife and Tony's mother, Livia Soprano, is Vera Farmiga (The Departed, The Conjuring) in a role originally played by Nancy Marchand. Other stars include Alessandro Nivola (A Most Violent Year) as Dickie Moltisanti, father of DiMeo crime family member Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) in The Sopranos, and Corey Stoll (Ant-Man), Billy Magnussen (No Time to Die), John Magaro (The Umbrella Academy), Leslie Odom Jr. (Murder on the Orient Express), Joey Diaz (Spider-Man 2) and Ray Liotta (Goodfellas).
The Sopranos ran on HBO for six seasons between 1999 and 2007. The series not only became a cultural phenomenon and multiple Emmy winner, but established HBO as one of the most important voices in the growing field of premium TV.