Michael Gandolfini to star as Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark

Michael Gandolfini to star as Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark

James Gandolfini's son Michael Gandolfini is set to star as the young Tony Soprano in 'The Many Saints of Newark'.

The 19-year-old son of the late Hollywood icon - who passed away in 2013 - will follow in his father's footsteps in the upcoming prequel movie to the hugely popular HBO show 'The Sopranos', in which James starred as the New Jersey organised crime family boss.

In James' run as the anti-hero he won multiple Emmys, SAG Awards and a Golden Globe, and now his son Michael will take over the reins in the planned prequel movie, which will detail the "boyhood" of Tony before he becomes the crime boss portrayed by James.

According to Deadline, Michael was cast by producers after an extensive audition process, as they felt his mastery of the character's mannerisms paired with his resemblance to his father made him the standout choice for the role.

In a statement to Deadline, Michael said: "It's a profound honour to continue my dad's legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano. I'm thrilled that I'm going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for 'The Many Saints of Newark'."

Michael joins Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen and Corey Stoll in the ensemble drama, which is being written and produced by 'The Sopranos' creator David Chase, and directed by Alan Taylor.

The story focuses on Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola) as a mentor to young Tony as his own father, Johnny Boy, was grooming his son on a pathway to organised crime prominence.

Deadline reports there are expected to be call-backs and shout-outs to numerous other characters from the television series within the movie's script.

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