Which characters from The Sopranos appear in The Many Saints of Newark? The 2021 movie takes place during the ’60s and ’70s and features a young Tony Soprano as he joins the DiMeo crime family. Written by David Chase, the creator of the HBO series, the prequel includes several of the original characters from the groundbreaking TV show.
Whereas The Sopranos explores Tony’s concerns about his protecting his wife and kids, The Many Saints of Newark examines the character’s familial relationship with organized crime. Michael Gandolfini stars as a younger version of the character played by his late father, James Gandolfini, whose ultimate fate was teased in The Sopranos’ controversial cut-to-black series finale ending. The Many Saints of Newark was directed by Alan Taylor, who helmed nine episodes of the HBO series between 1999 and 2007.
The Many Saints of Newark’s story adds some extra franchise depth beyond the focal narrative about Tony Soprano. The movie includes several of the most popular characters from The Sopranos, and also people who are discussed in conversation during the HBO series, such as Tony’s late father Johnny Boy and his DiMeo crime family colleague Dickie Moltisanti. Here’s a full breakdown of every character from The Sopranos who either appears in The Many Saints of Newark trailer or has been confirmed as an official cast member prior to the film’s October 2021 release date.
Michael Gandolfini headlines The Many Saints of Newark as Antonio “Tony” Soprano, a younger version of the primary HBO antihero protagonist. In The Sopranos, Tony runs the DiMeo crime family in North New Jersey and meets with Dr. Jennifer Melfi to deal with anxiety and stress. Throughout the series, he continuously worries about protecting his family, and also struggles with feels of resentment toward his mother, Livia, who conspired to kill him at one point. The Many Saints of Newark trailer shows young Tony learning to apply his intellect to street life, resulting in his ascent within the DiMeo crime organization.
The Many Saints of Newark co-stars Corey Stoll as Corrado “Junior” Soprano Jr., Tony’s uncle. In The Sopranos, Dominic Chianese portrays the elderly mobster, who values organized crime traditions and attempts to maintain control. The HBO series reveals that after Junior’s brother Johnny Boy passed away in 1986, he became a life mentor to his nephew, Tony. The Many Saints of Newark briefly shows Junior telling Johnny Boy’s wife, Livia, that he intends to speak with Tony, presumably about his organized crime activities with Dickie Moltisanti, the father of The Sopranos’ Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli).
The Many Saints of Newark features a younger version of Livia Soprano, portrayed by Nancy Marchand in The Sopranos. The HBO series begins with Tony worrying about the mental health of his mother, who accidentally runs over her friend and jokes about her own death. Livia also refers to her late husband Johnny Boy as a “saint,” which thematically connects to the title of Chase’s movie prequel. She plots against Tony with Junior in The Sopranos, which causes even more emotional turmoil for Gandolfini’s character. In The Many Saints of Newark, Livia is portrayed by Vera Farmiga, who looks similar to Tony’s future wife, Carmela (Edie Falco). The casting choice implies that The Sopranos’ Tony struggles with an oedipal complex.
Johnny Boy Soprano
Tony’s late father, Johnny Boy, appears in flashbacks during five episodes of The Sopranos. The series reveals that Tony witnessed his father commit various crimes during the ’60s and that he was ordered to carry out his first mob hit in 1982. As a capo for the DiMeo crime family, Johnny Boy taught his son about the underworld and also played a role in the development of Silvio Dante, who would later become Tony’s right-hand man and top assassin. Jon Bernthal stars as Johnny Boy in The Many Saints of Newark. The trailer shows him driving around with Junior while wearing a suit.
Billy Magnussen portrays Paulie Gualtieri, a.k.a. Paulie Walnuts, in The Many Saints of Newark. The character appears briefly while driving in a vehicle with Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero – one of the main characters in the first two seasons of The Sopranos. In the HBO series, Tony Sirico co-stars as Paulie in each of the six seasons. He’s a hot-headed and loyal member of the DiMeo crime family and mostly values his lifestyle over everything else.
John Magaro plays Silvio Dante in The Many Saints of Newark. He’s seen counting money in the trailer and wears a noticeable combover. In The Sopranos, Silvio is one of Tony’s most trusted friends and is responsible for numerous murders throughout the series. He also manages the Bada Bing strip club and wears a hairpiece, two facts that align with the character’s appearance in The Many Saints of Newark trailer – The Sopranos’ Silvie Dante is good with money and insecure about his appearance.
Portrayed by Samson Moeakiola, Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero appears briefly in The Many Saints of Newark trailer during a car scene with Paulie Gualtieri. In The Sopranos, he’s played by Vincent Pastore during the first two seasons. It’s revealed that he was a loyal friend of the late Johnny Boy, but he ultimately turns on the DiMeo family by becoming an FBI informant.
The Many Saints of Newark trailer prominently features Dickie Moltisanti, portrayed by Alessandro Nivola. He educates young Tony about organized crime concepts, thus gaining the boy’s trust. In The Sopranos, Dickie is known as the cousin of Tony’s wife Carmela and the late father of Tony’s protege, Christopher Moltisanti. It’s stated that he was allegedly killed by Detective Barry Haydu during the mid-’70s, but the Sopranos prequel trailer implies that he might’ve been murdered by someone else.
Actress Mattea Conforti portrays Young Janice Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark. In The Sopranos, Aida Turturro plays the character, who is Tony’s older sister and married to Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri (Steven R. Schirripa). Alexandra Intrator also appears as an older version of Janice in The Many Saints of Newark.
Young Artie Bucco is played by Matteo Russo in The Many Saints of Newark. Portrayed by John Ventimiglia in The Sopranos, the character co-owns the restaurant Nuovo Vesuvio. He’s one of Tony’s long-time friends but isn’t actively involved in organized crime.
Paul Herman portrays Beansie Gaeta in The Sopranos. He’s a pizza shop owner who helps Tony launder money. Spenser Granese plays Beansie in The Many Saints of Newark.