With The Many Saints of Newark arriving in theaters and streaming on HBO Max this Friday, I recently spoke to director Alan Taylor about helming the highly anticipated prequel film to HBO’s hit crime drama, The Sopranos. During the interview, Taylor talked about the challenge of trying to balance all the storylines, what it’s really like working with Sopranos creator David Chase behind the scenes, how editing during COVID helped the film, and more.
If you haven’t seen the trailers, The Many Saints of Newark is set in 1960s New Jersey during one of the most tumultuous eras in the city’s history and follows the people that shaped a young Tony Soprano. While you might think the film is mostly focused on Tony (Michael Gandolfini), it’s actually more about the uncle he idolizes, Richard “Dickie” Moltisanti, played by Alessandro Nivola, who is the father of The Sopranos’ Christopher Moltisanti.
In addition, Jon Bernthal plays Johnny Soprano, Tony’s father and a capo in the DiMeo crime family; Vera Farmiga plays a younger version of Lidia Soprano, Tony’s mother, who was played by Nancy Marchand in The Sopranos; Corey Stoll plays a younger version of Junior Soprano, the character played by Dominic Chianese; and Billy Magnussen plays a younger version of Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri, the character played by Tony Sirico. The film also stars Leslie Odom Jr., Ray Liotta, Gabriella Piazza, and is co-written by series creator David Chase and Lawrence Konner.
Check out what Alan Taylor had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis.
- How did the film possibly change in the editing room?
- What it was like working with David Chase.
- How they had to figure out how to make all the storylines work.
Here’s the official synopsis:
New Line Cinema’s “The Many Saints of Newark” is the much-anticipated feature film prequel to David Chase’s groundbreaking, award-winning HBO drama series ”The Sopranos.”
Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark’s history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters begin to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family’s hold over the increasingly race-torn city. Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities—and whose influence over his nephew will help make the impressionable teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we’ll later come to know: Tony Soprano.
Tony Soprano, the teenage years.
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