Before American Horror Story brought back the same cast again and again for different tales of terror, The Sopranos creator David Chase wanted to do just that with the cast of the HBO series.
While speaking with Empire, David Chase revealed that he had an idea for a gritty cop drama that would have featured the entire cast of The Sopranos in brand-new roles.
One thing I wanted to do was a crooked police station show set in Hoboken, New Jersey. Jim [James Gandolfini] was going to be this crooked lieutenant. The guys who played Paulie, Chris – all of them were going to be different characters, but the same types of people in the show on the other side of the law.
That certainly sounds like it could have been interesting, but I would imagine that James Gandolfini’s tragic death in 2013 put an end to the project. Although David Chase obviously didn’t go through with the series, he will be returning to the world of The Sopranos with The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel movie that will be set in the era of the Newark riots in the 60s. It was a time when the African-Americans and the Italians of Newark were at each other’s throats, and among the gangsters of each group, those conflicts became especially lethal.
Although it took some time for The Many Saints of Newark to materialize, the idea of a prequel to The Sopranos first emerged during the second season of the series when Oz creator Tom Fontana told David Chase that “it’d be interesting to see Junior and Johnny in their younger days in Newark.” Chase said he “responded positively to that, because my mother was born in Newark. She met my father in Newark. There was a personal connection and I loved those characters.” The Many Saints of Newark is currently set to hit theaters and HBO Max on October 1, 2021.