A Sopranos Reunion, Sort Of
David Chase, creator of HBO’s dearly departed The Sopranos, is planning to reunite with one of his best-known stars from the New Jersey-based mob drama, but no need to choke on your Cannoli – it’s not James Gandolfini.
Longtime E Street Band guitarist and Sopranos co-star Steven Van Zandt will produce the music for the director’s feature debut, an as-yet-untitled music-driven coming-of-age story set in 1960s suburbia. Production is set to begin in January 2011.
Also a creative force behind the 1990 CBS comedy series Northern Exposure, Chase revealed that actors John Magaro (Wes Craven's My Soul to Take) and Jack Huston (HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) will star, with the first-time director working from an original script.
“It’s exciting to be doing my first feature,” Chase said. “I am also thrilled to be working with Steven again, especially on this particular subject. It’s not just that we both worship the same songs and bands from the era – it’s that he knows so much about every aspect. He embodies a particular spirit of a particular kind of rock and roll. He actually is that spirit.”
Best known as a on-again, off-again member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band and a co-founder of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Van Zandt – born Steven Lento in Winthrop, Massachusetts, but raised from age 7 in Middletown Township, New Jersey – served as the arranger for the 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town, with later production credits on The River (1980) and 1984’s Born in the U.S.A.
In 1999, he joined the Sopranos cast as Silvio Dante, the heavily coiffed consigliere to Gandolfini’s bearish, therapy-driven mob boss. Since then, fans have clamored for a big-screen adaptation, with Chase coyly refusing to tip his hand on the idea. Early rumors suggested Gandolfini was reluctant to participate, but since then co-star Lorraine Bracco has suggested otherwise.
Van Zandt has stoked the show’s still-warm embers by insisting that Dante, last seen comatose and riddled with bullets, is still among the living.