Fourteen years after the last episode of the cult television series ‘The Sopranos,’ a film retracing the early years of futu mob boss Tony Soprano premiered Wednesday in New York.
Series creator David Chase, co-writer of the prequel ‘The Many Saints of Newark,’ introduced the cast at the historic Beacon Theatre which was transformed back into a giant cinema for the occasion.
The applause redoubled for Michael Gandolfini, who stepped into the shoes of his late father to play the younger version of Tony Soprano, a role for which James Gandolfini won three Emmys with his portrayal of the violent head of a mafia clan who was also a troubled family man.
Broadcast between 1999 and 2007 on the US cable network HBO, ‘The Sopranos’ marked the beginning of a golden age for television se ies with its dark humor and complex characters and made a star of James Gandolfini, who died in 2013 at the age of 51.
“We miss your father!,” shouted one member of the audience.
In the film, 22-year-old Michael Gandolfini plays a teenage Tony Soprano in 1960s New Jersey.
“I didn’t know if Michael really wanted to (do it), like whether it would be too much,” director Alan Taylor told AFP on the sidelines of the screening as part of the Tribeca film festival.
“He lost his father and to do this is very emotionally hard. Once he agreed to do it, and he showed he could with an audition, I just, I never doubted,” Taylor said.