New plot details have emerged into the public consumption sphere about the much-anticipated prequel film to The Sopranos, the groundbreaking HBO television show of the 2000s which followed the mob and family life of fictional New Jersey gangster Tony Soprano played in career and genre-defining fashion by James Gandolfini. The Tony Soprano character will be portrayed as a young boy and a teenager in the prequel, per reports. Gandolfini died suddenly of a heart attack in June 2013.

The movie, titled The Many Saints of Newark, was penned by Sopranos creator David Chase and sold earlier this year. Directed by Alan Taylor (The Sopranos, Mad Men, Game of Thrones), the project begins shooting in March and will be released in late 2019.

At first, it was announced that the film would center around Newark’s 1967 race riots and the tensions boiling between multiple ethnic mob factions in the area, including The Soprano’s DiMeo crime family. Now, it appears if the timeline of the movie has been stretched and will deal with a period spanning from ’67 into the mid-1970s. Casting calls have gone out for a 9-year old and 16-year old Tony Soprano.

Further casting news included producers looking for a “Johnny Boy” and Livia Soprano, Tony’s parents, Dickie Moltisanti, his mentor in the mafia, and a newly-unveiled character named Aldo Moltisanti, a 60-year old “elegant” wiseguy who might be Tony’s grandfather on his mother’s side. Emmy Award-winner Nancy Marchand played Tony’s mom on the series for the first two seasons. Johnny Boy Soprano, Tony’s mob captain dad, was shown in flashback sequences and played by Joe Siravo. Dickie Moltisanti, the father of Tony’s protégé Christopher (Michael Imperioli) is referenced throughout the original TV series, however never seen because his character was slain when Christopher was a baby.

The murder of Dickie Moltisanti was a central storyline in The Sopranos’ Season 4 premiere in 2002. In the episode, Tony tells Christopher that retiring police detective Barry Haydu (Tom Mason) killed his dad on a contract from a rival mobster. Upon learning this, Christopher breaks into the dirty cop’s house and shoots him to death.

The Sopranos was massively popular and a critical darling, sparking the current golden era of
TV and the rise of the anti-hero in both television and film, as well as gave birth to the concept of prestige programming across the industry. The show ended in June 2007 after six seasons and 21 Emmy Awards.

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