‘Sopranos’ Creator Brought Original Star Back for Prequel Film to ‘Clear Up’ Story Confusion

The return of an original "Sopranos" star was "the maraschino cherry on top" for creator David Chase.
A guide to "The Many Saints of Newark"
Michael Imperioli Makes Sopranos Return in Many Saints of Newark
Michael Imperioli Makes Sopranos Return in Many Saints of Newark
Michael Imperioli Makes Sopranos Return in Many Saints of Newark
Michael Imperioli Makes Sopranos Return in Many Saints of Newark
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[Editor’s note: The following post contains a minor spoiler for “The Many Saints of Newark.”]

The upcoming “Sopranos” prequel movie “The Many Saints of Newark” takes place decades before the Emmy-winning HBO drama series, but series creator David Chase still managed to lure back one of the original show’s most popular actors. Michael Imperioli, who starred as Christopher Moltisanti on “The Sopranos,” reprises his role from beyond the grave as the posthumous narrator of “Many Saints.” Christopher died in the HBO series’ final seasons. The film’s plot focuses on Christopher’s father, Dickie Moltisanti (played by Alessandro Nivola).

“That was the maraschino cherry on top,” Chase recently told NME about getting Imperioli to return as Christopher as the “Many Saints” narrator. “That was really nice. We first undertook it to clear up possible confusions and to help people understand where they were – where’s Newark, who are the criminals, who’s that guy, is that Silvio… we’re getting a lot of that.”

Chase added that making the late Christopher the film’s narrator was not always how the film was going to start.” The prequel film’s director, Alan Taylor, revealed earlier this month that one idea was to start the film with Edie Falco reprising her role of Carmela Soprano.

“Not to give away too much but, when you make a movie you’re not exactly sure the final shape it’s going to be and we, believe it or not, shot a few things that included other cast members,” Taylor told NME. “We had Edie come in and she dressed up as Carmela and we shot something with her and it wound up not being in the final movie but it was a great excuse to see her again.”

Taylor continued, “She’s so ridiculously talented and she’s also one of these people who — and it seems to frequently be women — that manage to be perfect actors and also the sanest people you’ve ever met in your life. I think Frances McDormand is like that and Edie Falco has that same quality of being like a solid, good, sane person. It was good to see her again.”

“The Many Saints of Newark” opens in theaters and HBO Max on October 1.

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