Audiences will have to wait to return to the world of “The Sopranos.” “The Many Saints of Newark,” an upcoming film that serves as a prequel to the long-running HBO series, has again delayed its big-screen debut.
The movie will now open on Sept. 24, 2021 — an entire year after initially planned. “The Many Saints of Newark,” which is being produced by New Line Cinemas and released by Warner Bros., was originally set for September 2020 but was later rescheduled to March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Traditional Hollywood studios have spent the better part of last year postponing their biggest films due to widespread theater closures and the general uncertainty over audiences’ willingness to return to the movies after cinemas reopened. But that’s not the impetus for “The Many Saints of Newark’s” latest delay since it will debut simultaneously in movie theaters and on HBO Max. Warner Bros. is taking a similar course of action with its entire 2021 slate.
Principle photography for “The Many Saints of Newark” began in early April of 2019 and wrapped long before the pandemic spread and forced film sets to shut down. Like the HBO show, the movie filmed at Silvercup Studios in Queens and on location in New Jersey. The postponement isn’t related to production either, though the cast and crew did have to squeeze in several days of reshoots last September. Sources familiar with the movie say they hope the new fall release date will allow it to premiere on the film festival circuit and better position itself as an awards contender.
David Chase, who created “The Sopranos,” wrote the script with Lawrence Konner. Alan Taylor, another veteran of the prestige crime drama, is directing “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase and Konner are producing with Nicole Lambert.
The film is set in the explosive era of the Newark riots, when rival gangsters began to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family’s hold over the city. Michael Gandolfini will portray a younger version of Tony Soprano, the fictional mob boss made famous by his late father, James Gandolfini. The cast also includes Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen and Ray Liotta.
“The Sopranos” ran on HBO for six seasons, spanning from 1999 to 2007. The show, widely regarded as one of the best of all time, won numerous Emmy Awards and other accolades over the years.