Inside the Violent Shootout Scene in ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ (EXCLUSIVE)

SPOILER WARNING: This story discusses a major sequence in “The Many Saints of Newark,” currently playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.

Part of the enduring appeal of “The Sopranos” was how the HBO series operated in counterpoint to decades of organized crime myth-making by Hollywood, from Warner Bros. gangster pictures of the 1930s up through “The Godfather” and “GoodFellas.” The show’s psychologically complex central anti-hero, Tony Soprano (the late James Gandolfini), wasn’t glamorous or flashy or cool, and the many acts of violence on the show, generally, weren’t either.

So when regular “Sopranos” director Alan Taylor and series creator David Chase agreed to make the prequel feature film “The Many Saints of Newark” — which follows Tony’s formative years as a teenager (played by Gandolfini’s son Michael Gandolfini) with his uncle Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola) — they had to figure out how to embrace the unsentimental credo of the show while still delivering an experience worthy of the big screen.

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