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The Sopranos prequel film now in development

LOS ANGELES (UPI) — New Line is working with The Sopranos creator David Chase on a prequel movie to his HBO mob drama The Sopranos.

Actress Edie Falco speaks during an in memoriam segment for fellow “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini at the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on September 22, 2013. A film prequel to the popular TV series is now in the works. (File photo, Jim Ruymen/UPI)

Chase wrote the screenplay for The Many Saints of Newark with Lawrence Konner, Variety reported Thursday. Chase will also produce and help hire a director for the project.

The series ran 1999 to 2007, earning 21 Emmy Awards along the way. It starred the late James Gandolfini as the fictional crime boss Tony Soprano, who suffered panic attacks and consulted a psychiatrist about how to balance his work as a dangerous gangster with being a good family man. The ensemble also included Edie Falco, Steven Van Zandt, Jamie‑Lynn Sigler, Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Dominic Chianese, Steve Buscemi, Steve Schirripa, Tony Sirico and Frank Vincent.

Set in 1960s New Jersey when racial tensions and violence between Italian and African Americans were at a fever pitch, the prequel will likely focus on younger versions of characters introduced on The Sopranos, such as Tony’s father Johnny, mother Livia and uncle Junior, said.

No casting or plot details have been announced yet.

“David is a masterful storyteller and we, along with our colleagues at HBO, are thrilled that he has decided to revisit, and enlarge, the Soprano universe in a feature film,” Warner Bros Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich said in a statement.

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The Sopranos prequel film now in development