Though sadly we’ll never see the dearly departed James Gandolfini step back into his most famous role, those Sopranos aficionados among us will elate in the knowledge that not only is the much-vaunted prequel film actually happening, but that it appears to be rumbling along towards filming at some point very soon.
The prequel film, set in the universe of the The Sopranos in 1960s New Jersey is carrying the title The Many Saints of Newark (author’s note: badass title), and now the production has enlisted the help of an old friend to direct.
Alan Taylor, who lately has made a name for himself helming projects like Thor: The Dark World and Terminator Genisys, has officially been tapped to direct the film, which is working off a script penned by series creator David Chase and his longtime collaborator Lawrence Konner.
Taylor, for those not attending expert-level Sopranos trivia nights, counts nine episodes of the original show among his litany of past credits, including classic episodes like season one’s Pax Soprana, season five’s Rat Pack, and season six’s Kennedy and Heidi (aka the one where Tony murders Christopher and then goes to Vegas to get high off his balls on peyote and bang a stripper Chris was friends with), the latter of which Taylor won an Emmy for.
The Many Saints of Newark is set to delve into Sopranos lore while dealing with real-world events, being set in the infamous Long Hot Summer of 1967 amid race riots between African-Americans and residents of Newark and the Newark Police Department and New Jersey National Guard, which took place over four days in July 1967 and resulted in the deaths of 26 people.
There’s no word on exactly who from the world of The Sopranos this film will focus on, but given the timelines it’s entirely possible the film will once again focus in on the DiMeo Crime Family, with characters like Johnny Boy Soprano and a youthful Junior Soprano rumoured to be leads.
No word on any possible release timeline is available at this stage, but it might be time to start telling people to forget about it again, just in case.