Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late James Gandolfini, will play the young Tony Soprano in the forthcoming prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark.
Stepping into his father’s shoes, he will take on the role of the New Jersey crime boss that cemented his father’s acting career.
In a statement to Deadline, Michael Gandolfini said: “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’m going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for The Many Saints of Newark.”
David Chase, the creator of the iconic mob series, and the movie’s producers reportedly ‘engaged in an extensive audition process’ before offering Gandolfini the part.
Insiders noted that ‘his screen presence, mastery of Tony’s mannerisms, coupled with his resemblance to the elder Gandolfini made him the standout choice’.
Gandolfini has already been proving his acting chops, playing Joey Dwyer on the HBO series The Deuce with James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
The movie will be set in 60s New Jersey, at a time when friction between Italian Americans and African Americans resulted in the Newark Riots.
It will follow Dickie Moltisanti, mentor to both the young Tony Soprano and his father, Johnny Boy.
Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen and Corey Stoll will join Gandolfini on the bill.
Michael was just 13 when, while on holiday in Sicily in 2013, he found his father unresponsive on the floor of their hotel bathroom.
The Sopranos actor had suffered a fatal heart attack. He was 51.