Why Will the ‘Sopranos’ Prequel Take So Long to Hit Movie Theaters?

There’s good news from North Jersey. According to Alessandro Nivola, who will star in the upcoming The Many Saints of Newark, the Sopranos prequel has wrapped principal shooting. It’s now in the hands of David Chase and the editing team as the project heads into post-production.

For fans who have missed the classic mob drama since its HBO run ended in 2007, that’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Everyone is finally guaranteed a look at Corrado (Uncle Junior) Soprano, Tony’s mom Livia, and Christopher Moltisanti’s dad Dickie (Nivola) in their primes.

However, it’t not time to lay out the antipast’ just yet. According to the schedule from New Line, Many Saints won’t land in theaters until September 2020.

Counting from today, that means more than 15 months of post-production for the Sopranos prequel, which is a big chunk of time for editing. However, it’s not all that different from the typical studio film in the crime or action genre.

The film’s September release could signal awards ambition.

Michael Gandolfini is seen on the set of ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ on May 31, 2019 in New York City. | Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

The Sopranos prequel has had no trouble in the hype department since Chase sold the script and announced his plans to producer early in 2018. Since that date, each cast addition has drawn notice in the trade magazines as well as on fan forums and social media.

After Nivola’s hire, veteran actors such as Ray Liotta, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Corey Stoll, and Michael Gandolfini (James’s son) joined him. The final star was Michela de Rossi, a relatively unknown Italian actress who hadn’t worked in the States before this film.

Alan Taylor, a director with Game of Thrones and Sopranos credits in his past, was at the helm for Chase on the project. With the top-tier cast and crew aboard, an item in Variety suggested the late-September release might be signaling the intention of a run on the awards circuit.

Either way, matched up against the post-production times for most major films, The Many Saints of Newark won’t dally a great deal more than the typical Hollywood release does.

Overall, ‘Many Saints’ won’t take much longer than the average film.

Alessandro Nivola as Dickie Moltisanti on location at Holsten’s Ice Cream Parlor for “The Many Saints of Newark” on May 20, 2019 in New York City | Bobby Bank/GC Images

According to a study by Stephen Follows, the average major-studio picture spent 300 days in post-production from 2006-16. That’s roughly 10 months, Using those numbers you could argue a film like Many Saints could make it to theaters by spring 2020.

Of course, every shoot is different, and filming for Many Saints wrapped in fewer than 80 days. That pace was quicker than nearly 100 days for the average studio picture in the crime genre. (Thrillers typically take longer than 100 days.)

All things considered, it looks like the Many Saints release merely got bumped from the start of the summer to the early fall. That will give Academy voters and everyone else the chance to take it in long after a summer vacation.

Also see: What Part of New Jersey History Will the ‘Sopranos’ Prequel Explore?