Here’s Your First Look at Michael Gandolfini as Young Tony in ‘The Sopranos’ Prequel

The resemblance is uncanny.

L: Getty Images R: Maxim

It was equal parts touching and intriguing to learn that James Gandolfini’s lookalike son Michael had been cast as Tony Soprano in a new standalone movie prequel. Sure, he’s a spitting image of his dad—but how would that translate once in period costume?

As is evident in photos taken on the set of Newark, the movie formerly titled The Many Saints of Newark, Gandolfini’s resemblance to his late father translates really well.

If you were invested in the whole fictional world of The Sopranos, the HBO drama that made the elder Gandolfini a superstar, these shots of “Young Tony” are borderline eerie. 

Shots of the young star—Michael Gandolfini is 19—weren’t the only interesting images from the shoot. We also got a good look at Jon “The Punisher” Bernthal as another character, possibly Tony’s father, Johnny Boy. 

Newark puts us in Tony’s New Jersey birthplace during the racially-charged 1967 Newark riots and introduces characters from his past. Some also seen in The Sopranos, others perhaps only mentioned or brand new. 

The details of the movie’s plot aren’t clear yet outside time and place, but one thing seems certain after seeing these shots: If anything, Michael Gandolfini’s dead-on look as young Tony might be more distracting than if he didn’t resemble the late actor at all. 

Newark premieres on September 25, 2020