Tony Soprano is back, thanks to the late James Gandolfini’s son, Michael. The first footage of the Sopranos prequel, titled The Many Saints of Newark, was released on Wednesday in a Warner Bros. Pictures video promoting many of its upcoming films.
At the 21 second mark, the 21-year-old actor can be seen as the younger version of his father’s famous character. In the quick snippet, he is seen getting into an altercation with another young man.
It was announced in January 2019 that Michael had earned the part of a young Tony Soprano in the movie, which is set during the Newark riots of 1967. Vera Farmiga, Ray Liotta, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen and John Magaro also star in the film, which is directed by Alan Taylor.
James, who originated the iconic role of Tony Soprano on the HBO series, died of a heart attack in 2013. He was 51.
“It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” Michael said in a statement obtained by ET following news of his casting. “I’m thrilled that I am going to have the opportunity to work with [Sopranos creator] David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for The Many Saints of Newark.”
Michael was born in 1999, the year that The Sopranos first debuted on HBO. In a 2019 interview with Esquire he opened up about how emotional it was to watch the show after his father died.
“The funny thing is, before the audition, I had never watched a minute of The Sopranos. I was just a kid when he was making it,” he told the magazine. “I would go to the set and ask him what it was about, and he’d say, ‘Oh, it’s about this guy who’s in the mob and kind of goes to therapy.’ The hardest part of this whole process was watching the show for the first time.”
“It was an intense process. Because, as an actor, I had to watch this guy who created the role, to look for mannerisms, voice, all those things I would have to echo,” he continued. “But then I’d also be seeing my father. I think what made it so hard was I had to do it alone. I was just sitting alone in my dark apartment, watching my dad all the time.”
The Many Saints of Newark will be released on Sept. 24.
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