The Sopranos prequel film The Many Saints of Newark was released in theaters and on HBO Max last month. It must have struck a big enough chord with viewers because word is that now there are discussions about an entire Sopranos prequel series on HBO Max. Early on it was reported that Sopranos creator David Chase was considering doing a sequel film to the Many Saints of Newark with writer Terrence Winter; now it's being said that those sequel movie plans could become an entire prequel TV series to stream on HBO Max!
According to Deadline, Ann Sarnoff, CEO of studios and networks at WarnerMedia said that the company was "thrilled" with the reception of The Many Saints of Newark. If that wasn't enough, Sarnoff reportedly outright stated that "We're talking to David about a new series, Sopranos related, on HBO Max."
The Many Saints of Newark only made $11.4 million at the box office, on a $50 million budget. However, it's clear from Sarnoff's view that while movie theaters may not be a viable lane for The Sopranos franchise, The Many Saints of Newark has revitalized the entire Sopranos franchise in a way that HBO and WarnerMedia intend to capitalize on through streaming:
"You see The Sopranos pop into the top ten of viewed series on the service and it's given it an entirely new life," Sarnoff said. "It's literally lifted all of The Sopranos franchise in a new way. You can't measure just by the box office."
For his part, David Chase has said that if he and Terrence WInter could do a story set after The Many Saints of Newark, he would do it: "...if Terry [Winter] and I could write the script together. That I would do." Chase has signed a five-year first-look deal with WarnerMedia, which could allow him to make both film and TV projects for HBO, HBO Max, and Warner Bros. Pictures. With that foundation all in place, a Sopranos prequel series seems like an easy first step.
The Many Saints of Newark actually surprised a lot of longtime Sopranos fans. The prequel story of how the infamous Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola) rose and fell in the 1960s Newark, New Jersey, crime world didn't unfold at all as The Sopranos series had framed it. We learned that Tony Soprano's idol (Dickie) was a tragic and monstrous man - and that his death was just one part of the Soprano family's dark legacy of cannibalizing its own. The late James Gandolfini's son Michael Gandolfini got a fitting introduction in the film, but there is so much more room for him to grow into the new Tony Soprano - literally and figuratively. Then there's Leslie Odom Jr.'s black gangster character Harold McBrayer who was a breakout star of Many Saints; a lot of fans also want him to get a larger spotlight in The Sopranos prequel saga.
Do you want to see a Sopranos prequel series on HBO Max?