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Jon Bernthal Has Some Intriguing Remarks About The Many Saints Of Newark

"The Many Saints of Newark" faces a tougher task than the average movie. The long-awaited prequel to "The Sopranos" not only has to live up to the legacy of what many consider to be one of the greatest TV shows of all time, it has to do so without the cast that fans fell in love with when the show first aired. It's particularly a lot of pressure for its star, Michael Gandolfini, who's portraying a younger version of Tony Soprano, his father James' career-defining role.

When the first trailer for "The Many Saints of Newark" dropped back in June, it was met with a mostly positive reaction, as fans took to social media to express how believable Michael appears as Young Tony, and how much the trailer appears to capture the feel of the original series.

But it's still probably a good idea to keep those expectations in check. When star Jon Bernthal, who plays Tony's father Giovanni "Johnny Boy" Soprano, stopped by "Late Night with Seth Meyers" to promote the movie, he had some words of caution for "Sopranos" fans. Here's what he said.

"The Many Saints of Newark" isn't just more "Sopranos"

During his interview, Bernthal gave fans an idea of what to from the movie. "I will say that — look, it's different," he said. "I think people are going to go in expecting 'The Sopranos' — it's not that. I think that it was very smart that they set it in the past and it's a genuine prequel ... You will see that when [series creator David Chase] was writing this show, during its heyday, he clearly understood the full history of who these characters were ... [and for] the real super-fans, I think it's just going to be so much fun."

However, Bernthal did have high praise for his co-star's performance. "What Michael Gandolfini does in this movie and to sort of be a part of his journey ... I just feel really honored that I get to, you know, walk alongside him. I think he approached it with courage and he approached it with, you know, real dedication," Bernthal explained.

Based on the most recent trailer, it does look like "The Many Saints of Newark" may not have quite the same feel as the original series. Like Bernthal noted, the prequel movie takes place mostly in the 1960s and '70s, when Tony was a teenager conflicted about whether to follow in his father's and uncle Junior's (played by Corey Stoll in the prequel) footsteps. On the other hand, "The Sopranos" often did portray this time in the Soprano family's history via flashback, following younger versions of Johnny Boy (Joseph Siravo in "The Sopranos"), Uncle Junior (Rocco Sisto), and Tony's mother Livia (Laila Robbins and Laurie J. Williams in "The Sopranos," and Vera Farmiga in the prequel). 

We'll know whether "The Many Saints of Newark" lives up to its potential when it premieres in theaters on Oct. 1, 2021.