EXCLUSIVE: The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints Of Newark has set its final major lead role. Michela De Rossi, the Italian-born actress who made her debut in Boys Cry, has been set to join Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Ray Liotta, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, John Magaro, Michael Gandolfini and the just-cast Leslie Odom Jr. in the ensemble drama for New Line. Production gets underway next week in New Jersey and New York.
Details have been scant on many of the big roles, but I’m told De Rossi will play an ambitious Italian immigrant who comes to America and settles in Newark. De Rossi has never acted in the U.S., and her first trip to the states was to audition for this role, which was highly sought after. The filmmakers sparked to a vivacity and authentic feel she brought to it. Boys Cry was a breakout at Berlinale in 2018 that was directed by Fabio and Damiano D’Innocenzo. De Rossi was also featured in I topi (The Rats), a television series broadcast by RAI3 and produced by Wildside.
The Sopranos creator David Chase wrote the script with Lawrence Konner, and they are producing, with Alan Taylor directing. The Many Saints of Newark is set in the era of the Newark riots in the 60s, when the African-Americans and the Italians of Newark were at each other’s throats. Among the gangsters of each group, the clashes became especially lethal.
Some of the beloved characters from The Sopranos are expected to appear in the film. New Line will release the picture September 25, 2020.
Chase Films’ Nicole Lambert, Marcus Viscidi, and The Disco Factory’s Michael Disco are the exec producers.
De Rossi is repped by Gianni Chiffi and Consuelo De Andreis at VOLVER