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The Surprising Reason David Chase Came Back To The Sopranos

During its eight-year run, "The Sopranos" entertained us with the life of the charismatic, yet troubled Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini). However, it's arguable that the series forever changed television. "The Sopranos" opened the door for relatable hour-long crook-focused stories found in series like "Breaking Bad" and "Ozark." And as one BBC America article reflected, the series helped transform HBO into the must-see network for critically acclaimed dramas. There's nothing quite like "The Sopranos," which is why fans had every right for excitement when the trailer for the prequel film "The Many Saints Of Newark" dropped.

The movie is a "Sopranos" prequel that features Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola) mentoring a young Tony Soprano (Michael Gandolfini) in the crime world as he grows up in Newark, New Jersey. "The Sopranos" creator David Chase is the screenwriter of "The Many Saints Of Newark" along with his writing partner Lawrence Konner. And while it's hard to picture anyone else who could pen the upcoming film, it was surprisingly a project that Chase had no intention of doing. So what made him revisit his hit series with "The Many Saints Of Newark"?

Chase wasn't doing a lot of other projects at the time

Speaking with Deadline, Chase noted that when he decided to revisit "The Sopranos" with "The Many Saints Of Newark," he wasn't involved in many other projects. However, the inactivity isn't from a lack of trying. The screenwriter recounted quite a few projects he tried to get off the ground after his film debut, "Not Fade Away." Chase said that he wrote a six-part six-hour series on the "beginnings of Hollywood" for HBO but filming location and money were issues. Another planned project for Paramount never took off due to the studio not landing the right actress. However, everything really came to a halt for Chase after some health issues.

"I had a lot of ideas, I was continuing to do stuff, but it kind of stopped when my wife became ill," he said. "Then I had a heart attack, and so, I just wasn't doing anything."

Although Chase said in the Deadline interview that the idea for a prequel story of sorts set in Newark originated during the second year of "The Sopranos," he initially had no desire ever to go back to the idea or expand the "Sopranos" universe. But with a lull in projects and consistent encouragement from producer Toby Emmerich and his writing partner Lawrence Konner, Chase decided the time was right to do the movie.