James Gandolfini's Son Cast as Young Tony Soprano In Prequel Film 'The Many Saints of Newark'
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Michael Gandolfini will portray the character his father made famous, before Tony became a mobster.

James Gandolfini's son, Michael Gandolfini, is honoring his father's legacy in perhaps the best way possible: He's taking on the role of young Tony Soprano in a prequel to the "The Sopranos," a film titled "The Many Saints of Newark."

James originally played the fictitious Italian-American mobster on the HBO crime drama, which premiered in 1999 and ran for a total of six seasons before ending in 2007. The role earned James one Golden Globe Award, three SAG Awards and three Emmys. He died in 2013 at the age of 51 from a heart attack.

Michael, 19, is thrilled to be portraying the now-legendary character his late father first brought to life, telling Variety and Deadline, "It's a profound honor to continue my dad's legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano. I'm thrilled that I am going to have the opportunity to work with [series creator] David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for 'The Many Saints of Newark.'"

"The Many Saints of Newark" will fictionalize the real-life Newark riots that took place in the 1960s -- a time when Italian and African-American gangs in the New Jersey city were at complete odds. Michael will portray Tony before the character became the family man in the mob we met on television in 1999.

"The Sopranos" is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time and won a plethora of awards, including Peabody Awards for its first two seasons, 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards -- so it's safe to say Michael has some pretty big shoes to fill.

Alessandro Nivola will also join the ensemble drama, and Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga are reportedly in final negotiations.

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