The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Today’s subject is Alan Taylor, who was tapped by David Chase to direct The Many Saints of Newark, the prequel to the iconic HBO series The Sopranos that will be released October 1 by New Line/Warner Bros in theaters and on HBO Max. It’s one of the most eagerly awaited films of the year.
Taylor comes to this plum assignment after a long and distinguished career directing in television. That includes some of Sopranos creator Chase’s favorite episodes of the series, including “Kennedy and Heidi,” the one in which Michael Imperioli’s Christopher Moltisanti character dies at the hands of his boss and mentor, Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) after a car crash. Taylor won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for that one, and he also directed episodes of everything from The West Wing to Deadwood, Game of Thrones, Oz, Homicide: Life on the Street, Six Feet Under, Rome and Mad Men. He also directed feature films that include Thor: The Dark World and Terminator Genysis.
In The Many Saints of Newark, Taylor and Chase and his co-writer and Sopranos vet Lawrence Konner discover the formative years of the Jersey mob led by Tony Soprano, and the fulcrum is Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola), Tony’s uncle and the father of Christopher, and the Newark race riots. Watch as Taylor describes the influences that got him to this place.
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