Thanks to COVID-19, the long-awaited Sopranos prequel ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ was delayed for release. It was scheduled for September but is now delayed until March of 2021. But, David Chase had a few thoughts about the movie for us. And he also dropped hints of a Sopranos’ Reboot. Let’s see what the show’s creator had to say.
‘The Many Saints of Newark’ and today’s world
Set up in the 1967 Newark race riots, ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ echo today’s climate of racial tensions in the United States. There are a lot of parallels between those race riots and the current Black Lives Matter Movement and George Floyd’s murder. It’s a remarkable coincidence, that David Chase had never anticipated for The Sopranos prequel, as he told Variety:
No, of course not. That’s another thing I can’t believe. That’s happened with this show a lot: Stuff has happened that we can make use of, or stuff has happened after we’ve had it on, for some reason — like we were there before it, and I don’t know what that’s about.
Moreover, Chase is also a bit concerned about the prequel’s name, as “Many Saints” could be a bit misleading:
I mean, it might be bad luck when they get to the theater and see “Many Saints,” or it might have the opposite effect. But right now, it’s interesting to me that it’s happening on our screen, and in their life. Why did that happen?
Furthermore, David Chase was amazed at seeing the parallels between the premise of The Sopranos prequel and the current situation of race riots. It was like nostalgia for him:
I felt it very sharp. I mean, I’m 60, so it wasn’t just the movie or anything like that. The whole thing was like, “Wow. I’ve seen this before. This is pretty amazing.”
A recent increase in the popularity of The Sopranos
Another thing that has been happening in the past few months is a surge in viewers of the show, right in time for The Sopranos prequel. When asked about the effect this urge will have on how the audience will look at the prequel, David Chase said:
No. I think we’re all curious about what they’re going to feel. Is it going to be different than what we thought, or what we were creating toward? Yeah, that’s it, and as far as the studio knows, I don’t know that they’re thinking [about making any] changes.
Recently, the infamous HBO original got a 179% surge in viewership on HBO Now since the pandemic began, showing that the audience has a renewed interest in the show. It’s the ideal condition to release the Sopranos prequel! This, however, raised questions about a possible reboot of the show. The Sopranos has the potential to become a franchise, much like Lord of the Rings or any other such show. But, would David Chase be down for that, even if it takes place after his lifetime?
I make no predictions, really. I don’t think about that stuff. But if what happened to “The Wonder Years” [currently being developed as a reboot featuring Black lead characters] happens to “The Sopranos,” that’s got to be kind of weird.
Moreover, it raises another question that how much control would David Chase have over a Sopranos reboot? He said:
I guess some. I mean, I really don’t know. It’s never been put to the test, but I think I have something to say about it… It would probably be cool, actually, but it would be quite a bit of work.
Until then, we have the Sopranos prequel to look forward to. We should all set our calendars for the 12th of March, 2021!