The Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark ended up bringing back only one main cast member from the original series – Michael Imperioli’s Christopher Moltisanti. However, this wasn’t always the case, and they actually filmed various prologues involving other members of the cast of one of the best TV series of all time.
The Many Saints of Newark starred Alessandro Nivola as Tony Soprano’s Uncle Dickie Moltisanti, Ray Liotta as Salvatore Moltisanti, Jon Bernthal as Johnny Soprano, Corey Stoll as Junior Soprano, and Billy Magnussen as Paulie Walnuts. James Gandolfini’s son Michael played a teenaged Tony Soprano in the crime thriller movie, which was set in the 60s and 70s.
Director Alan Taylor, who had also directed episodes of The Sopranos, told NME in 2021 when the movie was released that they filmed a scene with Edie Falco’s Carmela, which would have served as an introduction and way into the past; “Not to give away too much but, when you make a movie you’re not exactly sure the final shape it’s going to be and we, believe it or not, shot a few things that included other (original) cast members.”
Taylor continued; “We had Edie come in and she dressed up as Carmela and we shot something with her and it wound up not being in the final movie but it was a great excuse to see her again. She’s so ridiculously talented and…it was good to see her again.”
Taylor concluded; “There was some confusion as to how best launch the movie. How to start the movie. So we tried a few things and that was one of them. If you’ve seen the movie you’ll see that we begin it in a very different way now but that wasn’t always the idea.”
Our Many Saints of Newark review said that the prequel was a misfire, and “doesn’t know what it wants, why it’s here, or who it’s really for.” Check out our guide to the best drama movies, for some better alternatives.