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First Image of James Gandolfini’s Son, Michael, As Young Tony Soprano in HBO’s ‘Sopranos’ Prequel ‘The Many Saints of Newark’

The belt was his favorite child development tool.

Michael Gandolfini The Many Saints of Newark
Michael Gandolfini The Many Saints of Newark

Fans of the “Sopranos” series rejoice: the highly anticipated prequel movie isn’t sleeping with the fishes quite yet.

The Many Saints of Newark” was originally slated for release on September 25, 2020. Due to the pandemic, the film will now debut in theaters March 12, 2021.

As is now something of a calling card for series creator David Chase, “The Many Saints of Newark” is eerily prescient given the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests. The film is set in the 1960s and 1970s in Newark, New Jersey, using the 1967 riots as a backdrop for tensions between the Italian-American and African-American communities.

“That’s happened with this show a lot: stuff has happened that we can make use of, or stuff has happened after we’ve had it on, for some reason—like we were there before it, and I don’t know what that’s about,” Chase said in an interview with Variety. “It might be bad luck when they get to the theater and see Many Saints, or it might have the opposite effect. But right now, it’s interesting to me that it’s happening on our screen, and in their life.”

Chase wrote the film, with Alan Taylor directing. In addition to Michael Gandolfini playing the role of a young Tony Soprano, the movie also stars Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Ray Liotta, Billy Magnussen, Corey Stoll, Alessandro Nivola, and Joey Diaz.

For a taste of some behind the scenes footage when the crew was preparing to shoot at Holstens, the Bloomfield ice cream parlor made famous in the series finale, check out the video below.

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