The Sopranos

How The Many Saints of Newark Continues The Sopranos’ Supernatural Storyline

The Sopranos was great at incorporating supernatural elements into the show, and The Many Saints of Newark may very well continue that storyline.

The newest trailer for The Many Saints of Newark shows even more of Tony Soprano and Dickie Moltisanti, but it also hints at continuing the original show’s supernatural storyline. HBO’s smash-hit crime drama The Sopranos ran from 1999 to 2007, following the life and times of James Gandolfini’s Tony and those in his personal and crime families. The show was an undeniably deep, three-dimensional, and fresh portrayal of the day-to-day existence of a mobster – a lifestyle that had already been looked at in media many times.

And though the show extensively showcased characters’ violent and generally coarse sides, it also leaned into psychological and philosophical elements. Tony’s own personal journey – trying to improve his mental health, come to terms with who he was and what he had done, and simply working to actualize the existential meaning in his life – were integral pieces of The Sopranos‘ plot during its six seasons. Interestingly, the supernatural was another unlikely layer that made the gangster series so intricate. And, judging by the latest trailer for the show’s upcoming prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark, it’s looking like the project will keep some of the franchise’s signature paranormal activity/references alive.

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At the promo’s end, teenage Tony says “hello” to a baby version of Christopher. Christopher bursts into tears, leaving the protagonist confused about what he did to scare him. One of his relatives gives her take: “Some babies, when they come into the world, know all kinds of things from the other side.” Even in a trailer, it’s an interesting choice to hint that the show’s supernatural element will be brought back into the fold. As previously mentioned, this isn’t the first time that the franchise has incorporated elements of the paranormal. Tony was famously haunted by friends and family members from “the other side” that he had killed over the course of the show. One notable, fan-favorite instance of this was before the wake for Livia, Tony’s mother, in The Sopranos season 3. Audiences catch a quick, yet very obvious glimpse, of Tony’s deceased mob associate “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero in a mirror. Tony doesn’t see him, but once his face is revealed, his unnerved expression makes it clear that he feels his friend’s (who he had a part in killing) presence.

He’s similarly haunted by his actions and who he is later in the show, as well. Other events, like the cat that appears to the family after Tony kills Christopher and Tony’s season 6 coma dream, which deals with–among other concepts–answering for sins of the past, are also notable examples. There’s even the medium that Paulie consults after being disturbed by the message Christopher brings back from his own classically Sopranos, dream-like, near-death experience in what he believes to have been Hell. And those are only a few examples pulled from a wide array.

Even if The Many Saints of Newark doesn’t end up focusing on the supernatural, the scene between Tony and baby Christopher is a thought-provoking choice to include in the movie–and, especially, the trailer. It certainly hearkens back to the theme’s prevalence in the original show. And, of course, it forebodingly speaks volumes about who Tony is at his core and what will happen between him and Christopher many years into the future.

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