The Many Saints of Newark, the Sopranos prequel movie from series creator David Chase, just added two exciting new cast members: Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga. At this time, we don’t know who Bernthal and Farmiga are playing – brand new characters, or younger versions of characters we met during the run of The Sopranos. The duo join Alessandro Nivola, who is set to play Dickie Moltisanti, father of Sopranos character Christopher Multisanti. More on the Sopranos prequel movie cast below.
Variety has the scoop on Bernthal and Farmiga joining the Sopranos prequel movie cast. But who are they playing? Per Variety, “the exact roles of Bernthal and Farmiga have yet to be revealed. More players from the Sopranos lore are expected to be joining the cast.” I’m going to go out on a limb here, and suggest that maybe – just maybe – Bernthal and Farmiga are playing Tony Soprano’s parents, John “Johnny Boy” Soprano and Livia Soprano. This is 100% speculation on my part, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were playing completely different characters.
However, we know from a recent interview with Sopranos mastermind David Chase that a young Tony Soprano would be featured in the film. “The thing that interested me most was Tony’s boyhood,” Chase said. “I was interested in exploring that…The movie will deal with the tensions between the blacks and whites at the time, and Tony Soprano will be part of this, but as a kid.”
If young Tony is in the movie, it stands to reason his parents are as well. Tony’s father was dead when The Sopranos series started, and his toxic relationship with his emotionally abusive mother (played by Nancy Marchand), was a major storyline in the show, even after Livia eventually died. Farmiga has some history playing toxic mothers, having spent 5 seasons playing Norma Bates on Bates Motel. And Bernthal, with his rough and tough exterior, could make a perfect fit for the violent Johnny Boy.
But again: this is all speculation! For all I know, Bernthal and Farmiga are playing brand-new characters created for the movie. Hopefully we’ll find out for sure soon. No matter the case, this is exciting casting. Bernthal, who is currently starring in Netflix’s The Punisher, is an excellent actor in need of bigger and better roles. And Farmiga is phenomenal, always turning in a memorable performance no, no matter what the film. She’ll next be seen in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
David Chase penned the Many Saints of Newark script with Lawrence Konner, and Sopranos series director Alan Taylor will be behind the camera. No release date is set yet.
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