The Sopranos Creator Clarifies Tony's Fate; Not Anxious for New Series

Less than two weeks after Ann Sarnoff, CEO, Studios and Networks, WarnerMedia, confirmed that discussions were underway with The Sopranos creator David Chase for a follow-up series that would bridge the prequel film The Many Saints of Newark with the HBO series, Chase is opening up about all things "Sopranos" in an extensive interview with The Hollywood Reporter. But for us, the biggest takeaways are Chase clarifying what exactly Tony Soprano's (James Gandolfini) fate was at the end of the series, what his original ending idea was, and how he felt about some of the reactions. Oh, and if you're HBO Max? You're probably not going to like what he has to say about the idea of a series.

Sopranos
A look at the final scene from HBO's The Sopranos (Image: WarnerMedia).

In the interview, Chase confirmed his comment from the 2018 book The Sopranos Sessions from Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall when he said he "had that death scene in mind for years" regarding Tony's series end. But what Chase clarifies to THR is that the scene the viewers saw wasn't the original scene Chase had in mind. "I had a scene in which Tony comes back from a meeting in New York in his car. At the beginning of every show, he came from New York into New Jersey, and the last scene could be him coming from New Jersey back into New York for a meeting at which he was going to be killed," Chase revealed. But it would be two years before the (in)famous finale when Chase would consider a new approach. "I think I had this notion — I was driving on Ocean Park Boulevard near the airport and I saw a little restaurant. It was kind of like a shack that served breakfast. And for some reason, I thought, 'Tony should get it in a place like that.' Why? I don't know. That was, like, two years before."

Chase still sounds surprised by just how big of an impact the series-ender had, "I had no idea it would cause that much— I mean, I forget what was going on in Iraq or someplace; London had been bombed! Nobody was talking about that; they were talking about 'The Sopranos.' It was kind of incredible to me. But I had no idea it would be that much of an uproar." But there was one aspect of the reaction that got to Chase. "What was annoying was how many people wanted to see Tony killed. That bothered me," Chase revealed. "They wanted to know that Tony was killed. They wanted to see him go face-down in linguini, you know? And I just thought, 'God, you watched this guy for seven years and I know he's a criminal. But don't tell me you don't love him in some way, don't tell me you're not on his side in some way. And now you want to see him killed? You want justice done? You're a criminal after watching this shit for seven years.' That bothered me, yeah."

As for that reported "Sopranos" prequel series that HBO Max and Chase are negotiating over that would bridge The Many Saints of Newark with the award-winning HBO series, it doesn't sound like Chase is too interested in going that route. "I'm not that anxious to do it," Chase responded when asked about his thoughts on a series- driving the point home further by responding to whether or not the series would happen anyway with, "No. I would do one more movie." Though Chase isn't sure that's what the streaming service wants. "I have an idea for that that I'd like to do. But I don't think they want that."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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