The Many Saints of Newark was all about bringing the Sopranos legacy to the silver screen. There was just one hitch to this plan – Warner Bros.’ controversial HBO Max release strategy. Of course, not everyone was on board with this plan. Most filmmakers voiced their disdain for the plan, but one voice hadn’t said much until now. The Sopranos creator David Chase finally aired his frustration over The Sopranos prequel going straight to HBO Max.
David Chase’s writing and nuance made Tony Sopranos one of television’s greatest characters. The Many Saints of Newark was meant to bring the mob boss's origin story to the big screen. So Warner Bros.’ hybrid release plan seemingly wasn’t Chase’s cup of tea. The Sopranos mastermind said about the prequel’s day-and-date release:
Extremely angry, and I still am. I mean, I don’t know how much you go into this, you know, like…okay. If I was…one of those guys, if one of those executives was sitting here and I was to start pissing and moaning about it, they’d say, you know, there’s 17 other movies that have the same problem. What could we do? Covid! Well, I know, but those 16 other movies didn’t start out as a television show. They don’t have to shed that television image before you get people to the theater. But we do. And that’s where we’re at. People should go see it in a theater. It was designed to be a movie. It was…it’s beautiful as a movie. I never thought that it would be back on HBO. Never.
David Chase’s feelings about the HBO Max release seem fairly understandable. The Many Saints of Newark was Chase’s way of bringing everyone’s favorite mob family to the big screen after years of trying. So Chase had every right to be upset over the film being released to streaming. It wasn’t meant to be on television, according to the Sopranos creator. But The Sopranos prequel is one of many Warner Bros. releases facing the same fate as Chase pointed out. After giving his initial thoughts, the writer-producer had more to say about HBO Max.
David Chase wasn’t done airing out his grievances over the HBO Max release. He told Deadline that he wouldn’t have committed to The Sopranos prequel if he had known about Warner Bros.' hybrid release plan. Chase admitted he wanted to walk away but couldn’t as the prequel was a good movie. Despite his dissatisfaction with the plan, the creator conceded the current movie experience is evolving. He seemed to still hold out hope that moviegoers will return to the theater eventually.
Chase seemed to understand the shift in Hollywood but still prefers the theater experience like many filmmakers. David Chase doesn’t have much to worry about given recent numbers from similar releases. Moviegoers won’t have to wait much longer as The Many Saints of Newark will arrive in theaters and on HBO Max on Oct. 1.