James Gandolfini’s Son Had Crazy Dreams Of His Father Ahead Of Filming The Sopranos Movie

The Sopranos Tony Soprano looking rather glum in his leather jacket

Family resemblance can be a hell of a thing, and that statement only becomes more true the closer the resemblance hews between any two people. Michael Gandolfini’s resemblance to his father, the late James Gandolfini, makes him pitch perfect to be playing the teenaged version of Tony Soprano in the new prequel film to The Sopranos, entitled The Many Saints of Newark.

This casting decision was made despite Michael having never watched his father’s iconic performance on The Sopranos as it was airing. It took a lot of research into the lore and the story of the series, but the younger Gandolfini sounds very confident that he’s nailed it; and he’s had the crazy dreams to prove it.

To properly set the context for said crazy dreams, we first have to delve into the part of the story where Michael Gandolfini describes how he first experienced The Sopranos for himself, as you’ll read below:

The funny thing is, before the audition, I had never watched a minute of The Sopranos. I was just a kid when he was making it. I would go to the set and ask him what it was about, and he’d say, ‘Oh, it’s about this guy who’s in the mob and kind of goes to therapy.’ The hardest part of this whole process was watching the show for the first time.

As The Sopranos ran between 1999 and 2007, and Gandolfini practically grew up with the show as he was born in the same year his father James burst onto the scene as Tony Soprano. Not having seen the show’s contents until now is not only reasonable, it’s good parenting.

But with The Many Saints of Newark requiring Michael Gandolfini to step into the metaphorical shoes of his father, he obviously needs to nail the look and feel of Tony by studying those episodes really carefully. The end result is a performance that James Gandolfini fans will undoubtedly be looking forward to, but one that also left Michael having a dream apt to the character he’s playing.

That dream, and the process that lead to it, was described by Gandofini himself below, as he spoke to Esquire in a recent interview:

It was an intense process. Because, as an actor, I had to watch this guy who created the role, to look for mannerisms, voice, all those things I would have to echo. But then I’d also be seeing my father. I think what made it so hard was I had to do it alone. I was just sitting alone in my dark apartment, watching my dad all the time. I started having crazy dreams. I had one where I auditioned for David and I looked down at my hands, and they were my dad’s hands.

Strangely enough, Michael Gandolfini’s dream sounds like something that Tony Soprano would have dreamed up during the later seasons of The Sopranos’ six season run. Perhaps, that’s a good sign, as those dreams definitely seem to indicate that Michael is ready to bring Tony to the masses yet again. And with one of the original series’ directors, Alan Taylor, behind the camera, the resemblance between this prequel and the David Chase series that followed promises to be even more impressive.

We’ll have to wait and see, as The Many Saints Of Newark is set to hit theaters, and anyone who dares to move against the family, on September 25th, 2020.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to go see at the movies, you’ll want to head to our 2019 release schedule to see what films are making their debuts in the near future.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.