Top filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve were quick to condemn Warner Bros. last December after the studio announced it was moving its entire 2021 slate to a hybrid release format in which all titles open in theaters on the same day they become available to stream on HBO Max for 31 days. Ahead of the upcoming release of “The Sopranos” prequel film “The Many Saints of Newark,” series creator David Chase spoke to Deadline about his anger over the movie being available on streaming. While “The Sopranos” made HBO a household name for prestige TV drama, Chase never intended for his prequel film to debut on HBO Max alongside the series.
“I don’t think, frankly that I would’ve taken the job if I knew it was going to be a day-and-date release. I think it’s awful,” Chase said, saying that he was “extremely angry” when he found out about “Many Saints” moving to HBO max. “I still am [extremely angry].”
“I mean, I don’t know how much you go into this, you know, like…okay. If I was…one of those guys, if one of those executives was sitting here and I was to start pissing and moaning about it, they’d say, you know, there’s 17 other movies that have the same problem,” Chase said. “What could we do? Covid! Well, I know, but those 16 other movies didn’t start out as a television show. They don’t have to shed that television image before you get people to the theater. But we do. And that’s where we’re at. People should go see it in a theater. It was designed to be a movie. It was…it’s beautiful as a movie. I never thought that it would be back on HBO. Never.”
The official “Many Saints” synopsis from Warner Bros: reads: “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 impressionable nephew will help make the teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we’ll later come to know: Tony Soprano.”
The prequel movie is notable for casting Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini, as a younger version of the character his father turned into an icon. Starring as Dickie Moltisanti is Alessandro Nivola. The supporting cast includes Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, John Magaro, Michela De Rossi, Ray Liotta, and Vera Farmiga.
“The Many Saints of Newark” opens October 1 in theaters and HBO Max.