The Many Saints of Newark star and real-life son of the late, great James Gandolfini, Michael Gandolfini, has said that he would return to the role of Tony Soprano…but only if the character remains young. The actor, who portrays Tony during his teenage years in The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, states that, should there be more early-years Tony stories that can be told, he would be willing to step into the role all over again.
“This is such an incredible character and incredible group of actors and incredible filmmakers that I learned so much. This is going to jump to the priority to get to work with David [Chase] or anyone again. But I am not so much interested in playing 30-year-old Tony. I think if there’s an interesting part after this movie, before the show, that we can explore something about Tony that hasn’t been explored, in his youth, in his 20s. After that, we’re getting a little too old.”
Michael Gandolfini continues the legacy of Tony Soprano wonderfully in The Many Saints of Newark, thanks both to his physical resemblance to James Gandolfini and his ability to mimic some of the late actor’s more aggressive mannerisms, all whilst still bringing a youthful energy to the character. Understandably, the young Gandolfini does not want to step on his father’s toes where Tony Soprano is concerned, with the actor stating previously that it took some persuading for him to play the role in the first place, and states clearly that he would only play the character again in the years long before The Sopranos.
Michael Gandolfini does not yet have many credits to his name, but is hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps outside of playing the Soprano patriarch. “I want to [act] for my entire life, and I want to grow,” Gandolfini added. “So right now, as a 22-year-old, my main goal is to learn as much as possible. So with the idea that I can work with Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga and Corey Stoll and Billy Magnussen – and whoever comes back and whoever new actors are brought in, and David – I’m going to learn from that experience no matter what. So in some ways that’s a win. But yeah, like you said, I do want to go on and do other things.”
Directed by Alan Taylor and written by David Chase and Lawrence Konner, The Many Saints of Newark has amassed a stellar cast that includes the likes of Alessandro Nivola (A Most Violent Year), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Punisher), Vera Farmiga (The Departed, The Conjuring), 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 Many Saints of Newark introduces audiences to a young Anthony Soprano, who is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark’s history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters begin to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family’s hold over the increasingly race-torn city. Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities-and whose influence over his nephew will help make the impressionable teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we’ll later come to know: Tony Soprano.
The Many Saints of Newark was theatrically released in the United States on October 1, 2021, along with a month-long simultaneous release on the HBO Max streaming service. It has garnered positive reviews from critics. This comes to us courtesy of Uproxx.