The award-winning TV series The Sopranos will be getting a prequel film penned by the show’s mastermind, David Chase. Deadline reported Thursday that New Line Cinema bought the screenplay for the prequel, titled The Many Saints of Newark. The film will take place in 1960s New Jersey “at a time when the African-Americans and the Italians of Newark were at each other’s throats.”
The announcement comes months after Chase speculated that a prequel could follow the mysterious finale, which aired in 2007. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly last year, Chase was adamant that he would not want to spoil the series’ cliffhanger or retread the same ground with a new cast. However, the new script, co-written with fellow Sopranos scribe Lawrence Konner, leaves open the opportunity for crossover appearances from the show’s original characters. None has been confirmed, but as Deadline points out, the timeline suggests that Tony’s father, Giovanni Soprano, his wife, Livia, and Uncle Junior are the most likely.
No release date has been set yet, but Chase will serve as the film’s producer, and a search for a director is underway.