There’s Talk Of A “Sopranos” Prequel Series, And A New Book Gets Into James Gandolfini’s Time On The Show
2021 is the year we reached peak Sopranos nostalgia. First, there was the prequel film The Many Saint of Newark, and now series creator David Chase has hinted that there may be a sequel to the prequel movie, set after the events of the film (the 60s and 70s) and before the timeline of the 1998 TV show. Now Ann Sarnoff, the CEO of Warner Bros, tells Deadline that they’re in talks with David about “a new series, Sopranos related, on HBO Max.” But apparently, it’s still up in the air whether the project would be a film or TV show. In the past, David has said he’d do a prequel if he and Sopranos writer/executive producer Terrence Winter could write the script together. So we shall see!
In other Sopranos news, there’s a new book called TinderBox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, and it gets into how James Gandolfini became Tony Soprano. Author James Andrew Miller writes that James struggled with the role, often taking showers after a day of shooting because playing Tony felt “dirty.” And when he was asked to film a scene where he jerks off, he threw a “tantrum.” I guess it’s a helluva lot cooler to get your rocks off onscreen with one of your “whoo-ahs,” than by your own hand.
IndieWire says that on the most recent episode of the Talking Sopranos podcast, Sopranos actors Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa dropped some news about a payoff that went down between HBO and star of the series, the sadly deceased James Gandolfini. It seems that James was once offered to replace Steve Carrell on The Office, but HBO didn’t want to tarnish one of their most iconic actors with something as drab as television comedy so they made James a different offer he couldn’t refuse! $3 million to not get a job.
The Sopranos prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark, has dropped its official trailer. Finally! A piece of pop culture I actually care about! The new movie, which will be released in theatres and HBO Max on October 1, was directed by Alan Taylor and written by Sopranos creator David Chase and Lawrence Konner. It’s set in 1967 during the Newark race riots and stars the late, great James Gandolfini’s son, Michael Gandolfini, as a teenage Tony Soprano, who shows a lotta potential (although he never had the makings of a varsity athlete), but gets led down the wrong path by his uncle Dickie Moltisanti (Christopha’s daddy), played by Alessandro Nivola. The trailer features a lot of beatdowns, guns, explosions, vintage cars, bellbottoms, go-go boots, menacing low-angle shots, and the return of Satriale’s. I’m in!
First off, I could’ve attached a photo of Harvey Weinstein to this post, but it’s been a difficult few weeks, and your eyes don’t need the added stress. Now let’s move on to a lovely tale about the time James Gandolfini threatened to beat the shit outta Harvey. James’ Sopranos co-stars, Steve Schirripa (Bobby Baccalieri) and Michael Imperioli (Christopha), who co-host the podcast Talking Sopranos, shared this story on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Thanks to the collective outrage at the Game of Thrones series finale, we’ve all but forgotten the collective outrage that was expressed at the ambiguous series finale of The Sopranos, which, at that time, made us all but forget the collective outrage at the Seinfeld series finale. Well, we finally have an answer to the question that was on everybody’s lips in the summer of 2007 which was “$600 for a telephone?!?!?!” But sadly, the cost of the iPhone has never been sufficiently explained. However, we do know the answer to the question “Did Tony Soprano live or what?” According to The New York Post, Sopranos creator David Chase accidentally revealed Tony’s fate during a roundtable discussion with Alan Sepinwall, the co-author of his book about the show called The Soprano Sessions.
*Warning: 13-year-old retroactive spoilers ahead*
After hearing that James Gandolfini suddenly died in Italy yesterday, the ice cream parlor in Bloomfield, NJ where the final scene of The Sopranos was shot paid tribute in a touching and poignant way. Holsten’s reserved the booth where James played his final scene as Tony Soprano while Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ played in the background. (Or as my uneducated ass 20-something cousin calls Don’t Stop Believin, “that song from Laguna Beach.” That song from Laguna Beach! Yes, I have filed a harassment report against her on behalf of Journey.) The Hollywood Reporter says that Holsten’s was packed to the top all night and every seat was taken except for the seats where Tony and his family last sat.
James’ Sopranos co-stars also paid tribute to him by releasing statements.
Lorraine Bracco: “We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken.”
Michael Imperioli: “Jimmy treated us all like family with a generosity, loyalty and compassion that is rare in this world.. Working with him was a pleasure and a privilege. I will be forever grateful having had a friend the likes of Jimmy.”
Stevie Van Zandt: “The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Deborah, Michael, Lily, and all of Jimmy’s family.”
Edie Falco: “I am shocked and devastated by Jim’s passing. He was a man of tremendous depth and sensitivity, with a kindness and generosity beyond words. I consider myself very lucky to have spent 10 years as his close colleague. My heart goes out to his family. As those of us in his pretend one hold on to the memories of our intense and beautiful time together. The love between Tony and Carmela was one of the greatest I’ve ever known.”
James’ assistant Tom Richardson told USA Today that he wasn’t only in Italy to accept an award at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Saturday, but he was also there to re-connect with his roots. Tom said that James, his wife, his baby daughter and his 13-year-old son Michael all spent the day together in Rome and everything was fine until he started to feel awful at around 10pm.
“We all had a marvelous day together, and when he returned to the hotel Jimmy [Gandolfini] went to the bathroom and that is where something happened. His sister said he was still alive when the ambulance took him away.”
The hospital is going to do an autopsy, but they told the media that they believe he died of a heart attack.
Pic: via @JKlekamp