With the release of The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark just around the corner, Steven Van Zandt – who played mobster and Tony Soprano’s right-hand man Silvio Mafred Dante – has revealed that he gave feedback to creator David Chase on early cuts of the film.
“I saw several of the early cuts,” Van Zandt told IndieWire. “He’s been tinkering now with it for a couple of years. So it may be a whole different movie by the time I see it again. He wanted me and (wife and Sopranos actress) Maureen to see it and give him some input. Silvio is in it, just 30 years earlier.”
Van Zandt’s role will be played by First Cow actor John Magaro. He will be joined by Michael Gandolfini, the son of late Sopranos icon James Gandolfini (who of course played the formidable mob boss Tony Soprano), who is playing a younger version of his father’s character.
In a recent interview, Gandolfini’s wife spoke out about the “courage” it took for Michael to fill his father’s shoes. “It was almost surreal to see Michael in the trailer,” Deborah Lin, Gandolfini’s widow and Michael’s stepmother, told Page Six. “I know it took a lot of courage for him to take this role. It was very emotional. But the whole family is just so proud of him. His father would be very proud.”
The Many Saints of Newark will explore the formative years of mob boss Tony Soprano, telling the story of his initiation into a life of crime and subsequent rise to the top, against the backdrop of the 1967 race riots.
“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,” reads the official synopsis.
”Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolises, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities – and whose influence over his impressionable nephew will help make the teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we’ll later come to know: Tony Soprano.”
The Many Saints of Newark is set to be released in cinemas and on HBO Max in the US on October 1. A UK cinema release is scheduled to follow on October 22. You can watch the trailer below.