There are no current plans for a prequel show to The Sopranos says an HBO exec. David Chase’s iconic gangster series defined the concept of prestige TV when it aired from 1999 to 2007.
The Sopranos of course went off the air with one of the most ambiguous and ultimately divisive finales in TV history. But the show’s enigmatic final scene would not indeed prove to be the end of The Sopranos as a franchise or Tony Soprano as a character (despite James Gandolfini’s death in 2013). That’s because last year, Chase unexpectedly delved back into his gangster world for The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel film exploring among other things the teenage days of Tony Soprano, now played by Gandolfini’s son Michael. When this prequel movie proved a hit on HBO Max, conversation naturally turned to the possibility of more films or perhaps even a Sopranos prequel show. Hopes that a series might come to life indeed were raised last October when reports surfaced that such a show was being discussed.
Perhaps those reports were always wrong or perhaps they were right and circumstances have changed. Either way, it seems a Sopranos prequel show is not currently being discussed after all. Speaking to THR, HBO chief content officer Casey Bloys addressed talk of more Sopranos coming to the cable network or streaming service HBO Max and threw cold water on all of it:
You’re asking the question as if there is one in existence. (Laughs.) I don’t think David has any interest in revisiting The Sopranos. And I would agree with him. It’s a perfect series that I don’t think needs revisiting. But we’ll see what he wants to do next. If your question is about if the Super Bowl ad is some sort of precursor or anything like that, I don’t think so.
Bloys was also asked about more Sopranos prequel movies and could give no answers, saying “I don’t know where they left off, whether there were going to be more movies or what, so to your larger question about a Sopranos series, there’s nothing there.” He added, “And with The Many Saints, there hadn’t been any conversations about it.”
The Super Bowl ad Bloys made mention of in his remarks is of course the one that just aired featuring series stars Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler in a recreation of the show’s iconic opening title sequence. At least according to Bloys, this commercial was a one off and does not point to any larger desire by Chase to revisit the show.
While Bloys’ comments are certainly a blow to the hopes of Sopranos fans, it’s perhaps important to note that when news of The Many Saints of Newark emerged, it came completely out of leftfield. So it’s entirely possible that Chase could change his mind in a hurry and decide to come back to The Sopranos after all. Bloys’ remarks also make it seem that he would not be hugely receptive to the idea of a Sopranos prequel show, but of course if he heard the right idea he would doubtless be willing to revisit the question. Of course as much as fans might want to return to The Sopranos, it’s also fair to question the value of such an enterprise, after The Many Saints of Newark arguably leaned into fan service while not adding very much of real substance to the various characters whose backstories it explored. Ultimately, the original The Sopranos series stands as a work by its own and really doesn’t cry out for more sequels and prequels.