The Sopranos

The Moltisanti Murder mystery explained: The Many Saints of Newark unveils major Sopranos mystery

The Many Saints of Newark, a 2021 crime/drama thriller, explores the rise of the DiMeo crime family in 1960s Newark. Michael Gandolfini plays Tony Soprano, but the film mainly focuses on Dickie Moltisanti, played by Alessandro Nivola.

The story unfolds during the infamous 1967 riots. It tracks Dickie’s criminal life and sets the stage for Tony Soprano’s descent into crime. The film explains Tony’s behavior in the series.

The Moltisanti Murder mystery links to another crime drama series of 1999, The Sopranos, in many ways. It introduces critical members of Tony’s future crew, like Salvatore Bonpensiero, Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri, and Silvio Dante. These introductions mainly nod to the show’s fans rather than advance the plot. However, other connections in the film carry emotional weight due to the nuanced foreshadowing.

How does The Many Saints of Newark resemble The Sopranos?

A still from the trailer of the movie (Image via YouTube/WarnerBros)
A still from the trailer of the movie (Image via YouTube/WarnerBros)

The relationship between Dickie Moltisanti and Tony Soprano puzzled fans of The Sopranos. The movie reveals Dickie as Tony’s mentor. This explains key traits of Tony’s leadership. The film also delves into Tony’s troubled relationship with his mother, a recurring theme in The Sopranos. These connections make both the film and the original series more enriching.

The Many Saints of Newark uses dramatic irony in Tony’s interactions with baby Chris Moltisanti. Chris cries whenever Tony comes near him. This foreshadows the moment Tony kills Chris in the series. It also adds a supernatural element, suggesting baby Chris senses his future fate.

A still from the trailer of the movie (Image via YouTube/WarnerBros)
A still from the trailer of the movie (Image via YouTube/WarnerBros)

The prequel reveals that Silvio Dante wears a toupee. This detail adds vulnerability to Silvio’s character, contrasting with the original series, where his hair remains unexplained. Moreover, the movie also portrays Dickie Moltisanti as impulsive and violent, challenging his heroic image in The Sopranos. This complexity enriches both Dickie and Tony’s characters.

Furthermore, in the movie, Dickie acts on his Oedipal urges, contrasting with Tony in the series, who suppresses them. This difference makes us reconsider Tony’s feelings. Junior Soprano remains consistently petty and vengeful in both the movie and the series. This consistency reinforces his character.

Next, the movie also adds significance to Holsten’s diner, a key location in the series finale. This new context enriches the finale’s interpretation. Finally, the film introduces a Rosebud moment, adding a new layer to the series and its characters.

Will there be a sequel for The Many Saints of Newark?

A still from the trailer of the movie (Image via YouTube/WarnerBros)
A still from the trailer of the movie (Image via YouTube/WarnerBros)

Ever since the 2021 debut of The Many Saints of Newark, there’s been online buzz about a potential sequel. When considering a sequel, a follow-up must meet the original show’s high standards and satisfy its passionate fan base.

If the sequel of the movie is approved, it should explore the Soprano family’s deeper relationships and dissension with other crime groups. Additionally, industry strikes could shift the focus to Tony Soprano’s rise to power.

Furthermore, regarding a sequel, Alan Taylor, the director of the movie, told The Hollywood Reporter in August 2021 that David Chase might consider a sequel to The Many Saints of Newark.

“David said something that sounded like he was talking about [making more content]. I said, ‘Wait, wait, are you talking about a sequel?’ And he said, ‘Maybe.’”

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