The future of “The Sopranos” franchise appears to be at something of a standstill at the moment following the release of prequel film “The Many Saints of Newark.” The drama opened to a paltry $4.6 million at the domestic box office and tapped out at $8.2 million, making it a box office bomb of the pandemic era. However, Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff said last month that “Many Saints” was a monster hit on streaming. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, “Sopranos” creator David Chase said the film’s streaming popularity has created a divide in how to proceed next with the franchise.
“Well, of course, the movie didn’t do well in theaters, but it, like, broke the machine on streaming — it was huge,” Chase said. “So now they want me to do another series of ‘Sopranos’ from the time the movie ends until the time the series begins. I’m not that anxious to do it.”
Chase would prefer to continue “The Sopranos” franchise with a film that picks up after the events of “Many Saints,” adding, “I would do one more movie. Yeah. Because I have an idea for that that I’d like to do. But I don’t think they want that.”
Speaking to Deadline last month, Sarnoff pushed the series agenda while hyping up the streaming performance of “Many Saints.” “We’re thrilled with the results of ‘Many Saints,'” she said. “Yes, the box office was not quite as big, but back again to the demographics of who’s going to theaters. On the other hand, you see ‘Sopranos’ pop into the top 10 of the most viewed series on the service. It’s given it an entirely new life. We’re talking to David about a new series ‘Sopranos’-related on HBO Max. [The movie] literally lifted the ‘Sopranos’ franchise in a new way, so you can’t measure it in and of itself in the box office.”
Whatever shape “The Sopranos” takes next, film or television series, expect Michael Gandolfini to return as a young Tony Soprano. The actor told Uproxx in September that he’d love to come back to the role after “Many Saints” and play Tony in his 20s.
“I think if there’s an interesting part after this movie, before the show, that we can explore something about Tony that hasn’t been explored, in his youth, in his twenties,” Gandolfini said. “After that, we’re getting a little too old.”