In a move that seems very appropriate for the family-centric nature of a mafia story, Sopranos creator David Chase has cast Michael Gandolfini to play the young version of Tony Soprano in director Alan Taylor’s prequel movie The Many Saints Of Newark. In case the name isn’t a big enough clue, Michael Gandolfini happens to be the real-life son of James Gandolfini, who played Tony Soprano in the original HBO show and died in 2013. this comes from Deadline, which says the younger Gandolfini has enjoyed a “breakout turn” in HBO’s The Deuce, and the team making the prequel movie reportedly put him through an “extensive audition process” before realizing that he already looked like a young Tony Soprano and already had a good grasp of “Tony’s mannerisms.”
This means that our original assumption that young Tony would more of an Anakin Skywalker-type were off-base, since Michael Gandolfini is not really the cute kid we were picturing. Either way, he’ll be appearing alongside Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen, and Corey Stoll in the film, with Alessandro Nivola starring as young Tony’s mentor Dickie Moltisanti (an oft-mentioned-but-never-seen figure from the original show). The film will be set in the ‘60s, which was apparently the good ol’ days of the Italian mob in New Jersey.