"The Sopranos" Creator Talks Upcoming Sequel As HBO Series Turns 20

Some argue the sudden end (and the stuff leading up to it) means mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) was whacked, while others haven't stopped believin' that Tony is still alive.

Alessandro Nivola attends HBO's "The Sopranos" 20th anniversary at the SVA Theatre on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in NY.

Granted, the superb HBO drama is very much its own beast that's untouchable, but the head of New Jersey's most beloved criminal empire will be making an appearance in the new prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark.

The film is set to focus on the Newark riots of the 1970s, and the related racial tensions in the area.

Nivola spoke to Variety at the 20th anniversary of "The Sopranos" in NY on Wednesday, where the cast and creator David Chase held a panel. Alessandro Nivola, who will play Dickie Moltisanti (father of Chrissy) spoke to Variety at a Sopranos' anniversary event on Wednesday and shared some of the first details of the movie.

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Though the elder Moltisanti never appeared in the series, he is often mentioned as part of Christopher's backstory. "I was interested in exploring that", said Chase, who's producing the prequel film.

"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", he added. There's really no wrong or right answer, but Chase does provide some insight in what he was intending to say with that final moment: "I meant to say that time here is precious and it could end at any moment, and somehow, love is the only defense against this very, very cold universe".

"Yeah, I feel they're out there with shotguns, just waiting."

Sepinwall: When you said there was an end point, you don't mean Tony at Holsten's, you just meant, "I think I have two more years" worth of stories left in me'.

Since the show's premiere turns 20 this year, the creator David Chase chatted with Deadline about the sequel, The Many Saints of Newark, and what inspired it to come to life. Veteran Sopranos director Alan Taylor will be helming the project, based on a script from Chase and Boardwalk Empire scribe Lawrence Konner.

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