How Many Popular ‘Sopranos’ Characters Will Turn Up in the Prequel?

While there isn’t much lacking in The Sopranos that aired on HBO, fans have been ready for a follow-up for years. As has been widely reported, that project (a prequel titled Many Saints of Newark) begins shooting in April and tells the tale of an earlier generation of North Jersey mobsters.

The list includes Dickey Moltisanti (father of Christopher, played by Michael Imperioli on the show). In the prequel, Alessandro Nivola takes the role of Dickey, a central player. From what we’ve learned, that means Johnny Boy Soprano (father to James Gandolfini’s Tony) will also play a key role.

But as we get work of about other actors in the cast (including Corey Stoll and Billy Magnussen), Sopranos fans will want to know which of their favorite characters will appear in the film. Here’s an early list of popular figures from the HBO show who seem bound to turn up.

Uncle Junior and an earlier generation of Sopranos

Nancy Marchand and Dominic Chianese as Livia and Junior on ‘The Sopranos’ | HBO

The audience gets a number of great scenes from Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese) as a younger man, before his steep decline in the show. In “The Meadowlands” (Season One, Episode Four), the bespectacled boss gets up from his plate of pasta to get in the face of his nephew, Tony.

“Out. Next time you come in, you come heavy or not at all,” Junior tells him, ending the conversation. For many Sopranos fans, that’s a version of Junior the universe could use more of.

There’s every reason to expect a younger, more vicious Junior from the prequel. In flashbacks from the HBO series, we see young Tony playing ball with his uncle in the front of the house. The prequel covers that same time period.

Naturally, with Tony’s father and other relatives in the mix, that means we should get plenty of Livia (Tony’s mom, played by Nancy Marchand) as well. It will be interesting to see if she was always as manipulative and miserable.

Other characters from this generation that should show up include Bobby Baccalieri Sr. (a hitman played by Burt Young in the show) and Richie Aprile.

Young Tony, Janice, Silvio, and the next generation

James Gandolfini and Dominic Chianese in ‘The Sopranos’ | HBO

While there can’t be a movie about the Soprano family without Tony, we originally expected only to see his character as a child. After all, the film will take place (at least in part) during 1967, when riots exploded in
Newark
. Tony can’t be more than eight years old at the time.

That changed when the producers of Many Saints of Newark announced Michael Gandolfini (James’s son) would play the role of young Tony. Unless they shift the character’s age, we can’t see Gandolfini playing a character younger than 15.

In other words, expect to see the development of Tony into a young man. This shift would suggest we’ll other familiar characters from the show. (Naturally, Tony’s sister Janice would have to play some kind of role.)

But the loyal members of Tony’s crew in the HBO show could turn up as well. The list would include young Silvio (Steven Van Zandt) and an already-grown Paulie Walnuts (Tony Sirico), among others.

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