James Gandolfini's son Michael, 19, to play iconic Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos' prequel 'The Many Saints Of Newark'
Michael Gandolfini was considered for the role after an extended casting process due to his looks, mannerisms, and understanding of the character
19-year-old Michael Gandolfini who is the son of late star James Gandolfini is going to be playing his father's role Tony Soprano in 'The Sopranos' prequel film which is titled 'The Many Saints Of Newark' created by David Chase.
In a statement, Gandolfini shared, "It’s a profound honor 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." Michael's mother Marcy Wudarski was married to James Gandolfini from 1999 to 2002.
As reported by Deadline, insiders shared that Michael had to go through an extended casting process to get the role. Michael reportedly bagged the role in the Alan Taylor directorial because of his looks, mannerisms, and understanding of the character.
The actor has been busy himself and had previously been seen in 'Ocean's Eight' as well as on a recurring role on 'The Deuce' as Joey Dwyer. For 'The Sopranos' prequel, he will be joining a cast which includes the likes of Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Cory Stoll, Billy Magnussen, and Alessandro Nivola.
The prequel to the film has been set amidst the unrest and chaos of the 1967 Newark riots when tensions between the African-Americans and Italian-American communities was very high and the riots left 26 people dead and hundreds injured.
The movie will be focussing on Dickie Moltisanti and Christopher(Chrissy) Moltisanti. When season 4 opened, Dickie was at the center of the storyline.
Nivola is expected to play Richard “Dickie” Moltisanti. Dickie was constantly mentioned in the story though he never once made an appearance. He was Carmella Soprano’s cousin and was gunned down when his son Christopher Moltisanti was still an infant. Dickie’s death was the reason why Tony (Gandolfini) had a soft corner for Chrissy.
Earlier this month, Michael had been on 'Woke Up This Morning: The Sopranos 20th Anniversary Celebration' which had taken place at the SVA Theatre in New York. The event was also attended by Imperioli, Edie Falco, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Robert Iler, Lorraine Bracco, Dominic Chianese, Tony Sirico, Steven Van Zandt, Annabella Sciorra, Vincent Curatola, John Ventimiglia, and Chase.
As reported by Page Six, after the dinner, Imperioli toasted to the show's late star and shared, "Jim, this is for you. Salute." James passed away in 2013 while he was in Rome due to a heart attack that he suffered while on vacation. It was Michael who found his father fallen down in his hotel room. When the news of death spread, tributes began to pour in from all over Hollywood.
'The Sopranos' recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of their show which has been called one of the greatest drama series ever. It has managed to run for around six seasons between the years 1999 and 2007. It has also won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards, five Golden Globes and Peabody Awards for its first two seasons.