Michael Gandolfini will play the young Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark  — the prequel to the television series The Sopranos

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January 22, 2019 09:25 PM

Michael Gandolfini is following in the footsteps of his late father James Gandolfini.

Michael, 19, has been cast as a young Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark — a prequel to the critically acclaimed television series The Sopranos, Variety reported.

James played Tony Soprano on the HBO drama, which originally aired in 1999.

The Sopranos followed the life of Tony Soprano, 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.

James Gandolfini and Michael Gandolfini 
Mark Large - Pool/Getty; Theo Wargo/Getty

The role scored James one Golden Globe Award, three SAG awards and three Emmys. He died of a heart attack in 2013 at the age of 51.

“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.

James Gandolfini in The Sopranos
Hbo/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

“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 added of the series creator.

The Many Saints of Newark is set within the era of the Newark riots in the 1960s — a time when African-American and Italian gangs in Newark were at each other’s throats. David Chase co-wrote the script with producer Lawrence Konner.

PEOPLE previously confirmed that Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga were in final negotiations to join the cast. Alessandro Nivola joins the ensemble drama.

James Gandolfini with Michael Gandolfini
George Napolitano/FilmMagic

RELATED: Sopranos Cast Reunites and Shares Favorite Memories with James Gandolfini: He Was ‘Really Special’

Bernthal and Farmiga’s roles have yet to be revealed. According to Variety, Nivola, 46, will play Dickie Moltisanti. In the series, Moltisanti is the late uncle of Tony Soprano.

Characters from The Sopranos (which just celebrated its 20th anniversary!) are expected to return.

“David is a masterful storyteller and we, along with our colleagues at HBO, are thrilled that he has decided to revisit and enlarge, the Soprano universe in a feature film,” Warner Bros Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich previously said in a statement.

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