James Gandolfini's son Michael to play young Tony Soprano in The Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark
Michael was most recently seen in HBO's The Deuce and also had a small appearance in Ocean's Eight
Michael Gandolfini, son of late actor James Gandolfini, will play the role of young Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark, the upcoming prequel film to The Sopranos. Gandolfini, who died of a heart attack in 2013, had made the role famous in the hit HBO crime drama, which ran from 1999 to 2007 and won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards. Michael, 19, was most recently seen in HBO's The Deuce and also had a small appearance in Ocean's Eight.
"It's a profound honour to continue my dad's legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano. I'm thrilled that I am going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for The Many Saints of Newark," said Michael Gandolfini.
The prequel film will be directed by Alan Taylor and has been written by show creator David Chase (who will also produce the film) alongside Lawrence Konner. The cast includes Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll and Billy Magnussen.
Nivola will be playing Dickey Moltisanti, who, in the HBO series, is the deceased uncle of Tony Soprano (Gandolfini), and father of Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli). Incidentally, the character, who is credited along with Uncle Junior in establishing the New Jersey crime family, never appeared in the show as he was murdered prior to the show's timeline.
The prequel will be set against the backdrop of the Newark riots of the 1960s when African-Americans and Italians clashed.