Ray Liotta has a special connection to Newark, as he grew up there

By Rachel DeSantis
February 28, 2019 01:01 PM
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Ray Liotta is going back to his roots.

The Goodfellas star is in talks to join the upcoming Sopranos prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark, PEOPLE confirms.

Details of the film, including Liotta’s role, have largely been kept under wraps by writers David Chase and Lawrence Konner, but it’ll be a return to form for the actor, who famously played Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 classic Goodfellas.

The Many Saints of Newark is set during the 1960s, when riots and clashes between African-American and Italian gangs gripped the New Jersey city.

Liotta, who was raised in Newark during that time period, did not appear in The Sopranos during its six-season run on HBO, but plenty of his Goodfellas costars did, including Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Frank Vincent and Tony Sirico.

Ray Liotta
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“I am thrilled to be working with David Chase and Alan Taylor on The Many Saints of Newark,” Liotta told Deadline, which first reported the news. “David’s talent is unmatched and the directing of Alan Taylor makes this even more exciting. I respect them both immensely and look forward to making this special project with New Line.”

Barry Wetcher/Hbo/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

The actor will join a cast that includes James Gandolfini’s son Michael as a young Tony Soprano.

The elder Gandolfini, who died in 2013 at age 51, originated the role on The Sopranos, and won three Emmys for his portrayal of the anxiety-prone mob boss.

“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.

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

PEOPLE previously confirmed that Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga were in final negotiations to join the cast, though it’s unclear who the stars will be playing.

Alessandro Nivola is also on board as Tony’s uncle Dickie Moltisanti, the father of Michael Imperioli’s Christopher.