The Only Way The Sopranos Could Ever Come Back, According To The Creator

the sopranos tony soprano james gandolfini hbo

The Sopranos was one of the most pivotal series in modern TV history, and it's almost hard to believe that the show has been off the air for more than a decade. Now that we're in an era of reboots and revivals, the natural question is whether The Sopranos could ever come back to the small screen. Creator David Chase has weighed in on the one way the show could come back, saying this:

I could conceive of maybe a prequel of The Sopranos. I could never see [a return of the show] except as a prequel.

The series finale of The Sopranos is infamous for ending without actually giving viewers any closure, and it seems that David Chase isn't interested in any kind of revival or sequel that would pick up after the action of the finale. Still, he sounds like he's on board for a series that takes place before the narrative of The Sopranos picked up. This isn't even the first time that he's floated the idea of a prequel. Chase was discussing a potential prequel as recently as 2014. At that point, he mentioned that he was interested in exploring the racial tensions and drug influx of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

David Chase didn't go into any detail on what kind of prequel he's imagining nowadays, but there are plenty of characters from The Sopranos whose histories could be wonderfully fleshed out via a series set earlier. If we're not going to get an answer on what that ending was actually about, I'd say that we deserve a prequel to at least bring us back to the Sopranos universe. Chase actually also explained in his chat with EW why he's against a revival or reboot:

I wouldn't want to see that happen, no. Like recasting? ... Everybody's getting older, you can't match people anymore.

The actors of the first run of The Sopranos made the characters entirely their own, and it's hard to imagine recastings that wouldn't pale in comparison to the folks who originated the the roles. Besides, star James Gandolfini has passed away since The Sopranos went off the air. Given how hotly fans have debated the ambiguous ending over the past ten years, any reveal of what actually happened might not go over especially well. An earlier era can be explored with characters who are related to the Sopranos leads without actually featuring any of those original (and potentially divisive) characters.

The comments from David Chase about a potential prequel are entirely hypothetical at this point, so we shouldn't start planning watch parties. Still, HBO is clearly on board with spinoffs of hit franchises. Maybe the time is right for a return to the world -- if not the time -- of The Sopranos.

We can only wait and see. Luckily, there's plenty of great TV to watch in the meantime. Check out our Netflix premiere schedule for a look at your streaming options and be sure to drop by our summer TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).