The Sopranos always did a great job of creating characters with heaps of development and backstory, even if it wasn’t imperative to the narrative of the show. And just like the series, The Many Saints of Newark does all that and more.
Creator David Chase has created yet even more colorful characters that fans want to see more of, and there are unresolved story arcs just waiting to be wrapped up in a sequel. Whatever HBO’s plans are with the franchise, the film clearly sets up a follow-up, whether it’s a series or movie, and there are so many directions it can go in.
More Real-Life Events
One of the reasons why the movie is better than The Sopranos is because of how it incorporates real-life events in a way the show never did. The movie is heavily based around the racial tension in New Jersey in the ’60s and ’70s, specifically the 1967 New Jersey riots.
If the world continued after The Many Saints of Newark, it could take place in the following decades and revolve around other important events in the state at the time. If a follow-up took place in the ’80s, it could take influence from the revitalization of tourism in New Jersey and the increase of casinos being built. This could work perfectly, given that there’s no industry more tied to the mafia than gambling.
The DiMeo Crime Family’s Connection To Frank Lucas
Along with incorporating real-life events, The Many Saints of Newark blends fictional characters with real-life mobsters, which is, again, something the show never did. Midway through the movie, Harold seeks advice from Frank Lucas, who was notorious for running the heroin trade in New York in the ’60s and ’70s.
American Gangster delves into the mobster’s “work ethic,” as he shot people on busy streets in daylight and smuggled heroin in the coffins of dead American servicemen from the Golden Triangle. It’d be fascinating to see how David Chase intertwines real life and fiction with the character, and especially any run-ins that Junior, Paulie, or any of the other members of the DiMeo gang have with him.
Introduce More Characters From The TV Show
The Many Saints of Newark is full of familiar faces, whether it’s the teenage Tony Soprano or the now combover-sporting Silvio. However, it only scratched the surface, as The Sopranos is littered with colorful characters.
Though any sequel to Many Saints would still likely be set decades before the show, there are fascinating characters from the series who would still be in their 20s in the ’80s. Characters like Ralph Cifaretto, Patrick Pirisi, and Little Carmine are just a few of the inventive characters who would all be well into their tenure as criminals in the ’80s.
Paulie And Silvio’s Hijinks
The Many Saints of Newark features several young versions of Sopranos characters, and two of them are fan favorites Paulie and Silvio. However, they had very little screentime in Many Saints. Silvio had just one major scene where he gave Dickie sound advice, and Paulie didn’t have any important dialogue whatsoever, leaving one of the best characters nothing more than a bobbing head in the background.
The two characters had always been the most theatrical and they often provided some comic relief in the show, especially when they were together. Whether as a TV show or a movie sequel to Many Saints, it could see them getting up to their old tricks.
Reveal Why Harold Isn’t In The Sopranos
The Many Saints of Newark set up a sequel in many ways, and one of the most interesting was how Harold’s story arc was never wrapped up. The movie ends with Harold, one of the best characters in Many Saints of Newark, on the rise in the world of organized crime.
But what makes it so interesting is that Harold isn’t in The Sopranos, which means something typically horrific must have happened to him between the movie and the TV show. As The Sopranos seasons all followed a similar formula, wherein a new rising gangster takes on the DiMeo crime family, Harold could potentially be that character in a prequel series.
Young Tony Growing Up
Though the new movie isn’t about Tony, as it follows Dickie, the man who “made” Tony Soprano, Michael Gandolfini in his father’s role was a big appeal. Against all odds, the actor pulled it off perfectly.
The actor portrayed Tony Soprano in a way that was much more than just an impression. The look, the voice, and the mannerisms were all spot on, which makes sense given the genetic connection. The actor proved that he could totally carry another movie or a prequel TV show of his own. And as Gandolfini is still so young and there’s a big age gap between Tony in the movie and the series, there are literally decades of ground that a new series could cover.
In The Many Saints of Newark, there’s a surprising amount that takes place in jail, or at least refers to it. Johnny Boy, Tony’s father, spent four years in jail at the beginning of the movie, and as Sally is presumably serving a life sentence, all of his scenes take place during visitations.
Johnny Boy and Sally would have been in prison at the same time, and as they’re part of the same crime family, they must have spent time together. Any fan of The Sopranos has surely seen enough crime dramas to know that they would have been up to no good in jail too. They are criminals, after all, but that part of their lives strangely wasn’t explored.
Did Anyone Find Out What Junior Did?
One of the best quotes in Many Saints of Newark comes when Junior’s hired associate tells him over the phone, “It’s done,” after murdering Dickie. But the movie swiftly ends before audiences find out who Junior hired or if anyone finds out that it was him who ordered the hit.
Of course, he’s still alive and kicking and ordering petty hits in The Sopranos too, and he clearly got away with it. However, it’s strange that all of the family accepted Dickie’s murder without looking into who did it. It wouldn’t be out of character if Junior framed the murder on somebody who is an enemy of the family, and a sequel could explore this.
Though the new movie is propelling the universe forward in a Better Call Saul-like way, wherein it reaches the beginning of the series, another movie could go even further back in time. Just as The Sopranos did a great job at world-building, Many Saints does an even better job of expanding on that world.
Along with incorporating real-life gangsters and historical events, the movie introduces characters that have well-developed backstories. Those backstories are fascinating enough to have their own prequel movies. The most interesting of all would be a prequel revolving around twin brothers, Hollywood Dick and Sally. Between running gangs in Italy and doing life sentences for murdering a made man, a prequel would be like a brilliant fictional version of the Krays.
Continue After The Events Of The Show
This might be the unlikeliest possibility of them all, as there was very much a sense of finality in the finale of The Sopranos. But whether it’s a movie or another TV show, it could follow the events of the series.
There are so many questions fans have, such as whether or not A.J. followed in his father’s footsteps, just like how Tony followed in Dickie’s footsteps. Though there’d be a lot of grieving in the first few episodes, a new series could follow the crime syndicate dealing with Tony’s death and even avenging him. That is if he did, in fact, die.