NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The son of James Gandolfini has been cast as the young Tony Soprano in the planned “Sopranos” prequel, “The Many Saints of Newark.”
Michael Gandolfini will play a younger version of the iconic character his late father played on the HBO series. The 19-year-old actor has had a recurring role on HBO’s “The Deuce.”
Gandolfini said in a statement it’s “a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy.” James Gandolfini died of a heart attack at the age of 51 in 2013.
“Sopranos” creator David Chase is producer and screenwriter for the New Line production. Alan Taylor, who directed several episodes of “The Sopranos” and 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World,” is set to direct.
Earlier this month, actor Alessandro Nivola revealed he would be playing Dickie Moltisanti, father of Christopher Moltisanti.
Christopher Moltisanti, who was played by Michael Imperioli in the original series, was a protege of Tony.
Though the elder Moltisanti never appeared in the series, he is often mentioned as part of Christopher’s backstory. The father was gunned down when Christopher was young and Nivola said the film will explore the interlocking history of Dickie Moltisanti and Soprano.
“Tony will be a character in the film, and as was mentioned throughout ‘The Sopranos’ series, my character was an important person in his life, and it examines that relationship as well,” Nivola said.
The film begins in 1967 with the backdrop of the race riots that tore through Newark, New Jersey. Nivola said racial tension is “a big part of the story.”
“The Sopranos” recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its 1999 debut.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)