AceShowbiz - "The Sopranos" prequel has aptly cast James Gandolfini's son Michael Gandolfini in the role of young Tony Soprano. The late actor played the adult version of the character on the HBO series from 1999 to 2007.
"It's a profound honor to continue my dad's legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano," Michael says in a statement to Deadline of being cast in the movie which is titled "The Many Saints of Newark". He continues sharing, "I'm thrilled that I'm going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for 'The Many Saints of Newark'."
Michael joins Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen and Corey Stoll who have been earlier cast in the upcoming movie. The young Gandolfini has had several acting credits, having appeared in 2018's star-studded film "Ocean's 8" and on HBO's series "The Deuce".
James Gandolfini died on June 19, 2013 at 51 years old. He was with his son Michael on a father-son trip in Rome to celebrate Michael's graduation from junior high when the elder Gandolfini suffered a heart attack.
The student at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts paid tribute to his father on the fifth anniversary of his death last year. "5 years without your hugs, your laugh, and [your] smile. I miss you, but today is not about me. As much as I hate that you're gone, it in [fact] was your time. And today I celebrate you and your life. I love you dad, miss you," he wrote along with a picture of the late actor.
"The Many Saints of Newark" is written by "The Sopranos" creator David Chase and "Sopranos" writer Lawrence Konner. Set in 1967, during the race riots of Newark, New Jersey, it will chronicle the tensions between members of the city's Italian and African-American crime families.
Alan Taylor has signed on to direct the drama film. No release date is announced yet.