‘The Many Saints of Newark’ Director Opens Up on Bringing Same ‘Tone’ as ‘The Sopranos’ for Film

by Megan Molseed
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The Sopranos will be hitting the big screen this weekend when the long-awaited film The Many Saints Of Newark hits theaters all across the country this Friday.

And it’s an event that fans have been waiting to finally see for a very, very long time.

Even while the wildly popular crime drama series was still on the air from 1999 until 2007, fans of the hit HBO crime drama have been waiting for a big-screen take on the series.

The movie, which is a prequel to the groundbreaking HBO crime drama series follows a young Tony Soprano, the much loved – and feared – anti-hero mob boss, and star of the hit HBO series.

‘The Many Saints Of Newark’s’ Kept A Focus On the Original

The Many Saints of Newark tells the story of young Tony Soprano as he is growing up in the 1960s and 1970s; in the middle of the infamous Newark riots.

While fans of the Sopranos have been anticipating this release since it was first announced in 2018, filmmakers say that there has been quite a bit of pressure to stay true to the tone of the original series.

Especially because the film shows us an entirely different era than we are used to seeing in the Sopranos.

And, since the actor who portrayed Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini is no longer with us.

Working With A Lot Of Challenges

“It was a challenge to try and find the spirit of the show when we take away two of the main things that define the show,” said the film’s director, Alan Taylor said of filming The Many Saints of Newark.

“The fact that there was no James Gandolfini, was really a big deal,” the director continued; adding that along with the difference in time periods gave the filmmakers a challenge when trying to continue the aura of the hit HBO series.

“The show was popular, partly because it was contemporary, tacky New Jersey,” Taylor noted. “We’re going back into a period where it’s a kind of more romantic time of the mob and going from the small screen to the big screen.”

Telling a New Story While Staying True To The Past

For Taylor, these aspects changed the story drastically.

“In many ways, we were changing radically the terms of it,” he said. “But trying to keep that spirit of the Sopranos experience true.”

The director did note that once filming began, he knew Sopranos fans were going to be pleased with the final product.

“With many familiar characters returning while others make their debut, it’s no secret such a feat has been a huge undertaking for fans to trust and accept after all this time,” Taylor said.

“It was easy to step back into the language of the show and the tone of it,” the director added.“That combination of really dark insights about what it’s like to be human, but also with absurd humor and bursts of violence, the bursts of ridiculousness.”

Taylor adds that his own experience directing a total of nine episodes in the Sopranos series with the show’s executive producer David Chase helped with the development of the upcoming film.

“That combination of tones that David created for the show, that felt easy to get back into,” said The Many Saints of Newark Director.

Gandophini Plays A Big Part In the Film

Tony Soprano, who was played by the late, and great, James Gandolfini in the HBO crime drama series may not be making an appearance in the movie; since the actor passed away unexpectedly in 2013.

However, there will be a big part of the actor in the upcoming film as The Many Saints of Newark. The actor portraying young Tony Soprano is non-other than Gandolphi’s real-life son, Michael Gandolfini.

Outsider.com