James Gandolfini's Son Michael Takes Over Tony Soprano Role in First Footage from Sopranos Prequel
Like father, like son.
On Wednesday, the first footage from the Sopranos prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark, was released, featuring James Gandolfini's son, Michael Gandolfini, portraying a young Tony Soprano in the upcoming flick.
Seen as part of a trailer from Warner Bros. Pictures, promoting a slew of its upcoming films — such as Dune and Godzilla vs. Kong — the brief blink and you'll miss it moment happens at the 21-second mark, where Michael, 21, can be seen as the younger version of his father's iconic mob character.
In the quick scene, a young Tony is seen getting into an altercation with another young man.
The upcoming prequel film, which will feature younger versions of the series' beloved characters, is set in the 1960s in Newark when the riots between Italian-Americans and African-Americans were at an all-time high.
Alesandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Ray Liotta, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen and John Magaro will all star alongside Michael in the film, and The Sopranos series creator David Chase is co-writing the screenplay, with Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) directing.
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James, who originally played the role of Tony Soprano on the popular HBO series, died of a heart attack in 2013 at the age of 51.
The Sopranos followed the life of a New Jersey mob boss as he dealt with personal and professional issues in his home and business. It ran for six seasons before ending in 2007.
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Michael — who was born in 1999, the same year that The Sopranos first premiered on HBO — previously opened up about the honor of getting to portray his father's famous character onscreen.
"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 Variety and Deadline after his casting was announced. "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."
In a 2019 interview with Esquire, Michael also opened up about the experience of watching The Sopranos after his father's death, describing it as emotional feat to take on.
"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 said. "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 opens in theaters and arrives on HBO Max on Sept. 24.