The Many Saints of Newark, which is finally going to be released on October 1st after being delayed by the pandemic, is a prequel to The Sopranos. It features Tony Soprano as a teenager, struggling to decide between entering the family business or going to college and — if The Test Dream episode is to be believed — maybe becoming a teacher or a coach. That’s a big decision for anyone to make. Of course, since The Many Saints of Newark is a prequel, we already know that’s going to happen. That’s kind of the problem with prequels. You can drag out the story for as long as you want but, eventually, you’re going to reach the point where everyone originally came in.
As you may have picked up on, I’m not totally sure that this film is really necessary. As I say this as someone who loves The Sopranos and who is planning on rewatchinng the entire series later in July. Thanks to the show’s use of flashbacks and the scenes of Tony talking to Dr. Melfi, it’s not as if we don’t already know about Tony’s childhood. I’m not sure that there’s a lot for the prequel to show us, beyond maybe clearing up who was actually responsible for the death of Dickie Moltisanti. If Tony ends up killing Dickie, it’ll cast his later treatment (and murder) of Christopher into an entirely new light.
Still, I’m definitely going to watch The Many Saints of Newark when it’s released on October 1st. Vera Farmiga as Livia Soprano seems like perfect casting and I’m also interested in seeing how Michael Gandolfini does at playing the young version of the character made famous by his father, the much-missed James Gandolfini. Apparently, Billy Magnussen will be playing the youngish version of Paulie Walnuts. In what world does Billy Magnussen grow up to be Tony Sirico? Ray Liotta also has a role in The Many Saints of Newark, which feels appropriate considering how much The Sopranos owed to the success of Goodfellas.
The trailer for The Many Saints of Newark was released today. And here it is: