Filming for the “Sopranos” prequel detailing the early life of fictional crime boss Tony Soprano took place in Ridgewood on Thursday and Friday, using the southwest Queens neighborhood as a stand-in for Newark.
Directed by Alan Taylor and written by David Chase and Lawrence Konner, the film “The Many Saints of Newark” delves into the life of Soprano, originally played by the late James Gandolfini.
On signs posted in Ridgewood, the project is referred to as “Central Ward,” a reference to part of Newark. However, it’s produced by Rose City Pictures, the company behind the “Sopranos” prequel project.
The cast includes Alessandro Nivola, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Corey Stoll, Ray Liotta and Leslie Odom Jr. Nivola plays Dickie Moltisanti, the father of Christopher Moltisanti, who was portrayed in “The Sopranos” by Michael Imperioli.
The role of young Tony Soprano is being played by Gandolfini’s 19-year-old son, Michael.
Filming took place at three locations in Ridgewood on Friday including 60-70 Putnam Ave., and 60-67 Palmetto St., which would act as exterior shots for Junior’s neighborhood.
Junior was Tony Soprano’s uncle in the HBO series that debuted over 20 years ago (Dominic Chianese played Junior during the series).
According to a map from Rose City Pictures, 60-59 Putnam Ave., just across the street from the Ridgewood Democratic Club, served as an interior set for Junior’s home.
“It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano,” Michael Gandolfini told Variety. “I’m thrilled that I am going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for ‘The Many Saints of Newark.'”
“The Sopranos” series wrapped in 2007 with the infamous “Fade to Black” ending, leaving many questions about the characters unresolved. Any hope of further resolution was eviscerated by the death of Gandolfini in 2013 at the age of 51 in Rome, Italy.
The show was a massive success during its run, taking home 21 Primetime Emmys and five Golden Globes.
“The Many Saints of Newark” has a release date of Sept. 25, 2020.