Here's an interesting update on David Chase's The Many Saints of Newark: according to Deadline, Ray Liotta is currently in negotiations to join the cast, which already includes Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen, Corey Stoll, and - playing the younger version of the HBO character his father made famous - Michael Gandolfini.
“I am thrilled to be working with David Chase and Alan Taylor on The Many Saints of Newark. David’s talent is unmatched and the directing of Alan Taylor makes this even more exciting. I respect them both immensely and look forward to making this special project with New Line.”
Liotta, it almost goes without saying, is no stranger to the mob genre; his work as Henry Hill in Goodfellas alone qualifies him for icon status (for a more recent example of Liotta in organized-crime action, be sure to check out Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly, which rules insanely hard), and he won't be the first Goodfellas alum to pop up somewhere within the Sopranos timeline (see also: Lorraine Bracco, Michael Imperioli, Frank Vincent, Tony Sirico). Surely he'll fit right in with this crew.
For those who haven't been keeping track, Deadline's got a solid recap of what The Many Saints of Newark is:
"Scripted by The Sopranos creator David Chase and Lawrence Konner, the prequel is set in the era of the Newark riots in the ’60s, when African Americans and Italian Americans in the city were at each other’s throats. That clash became lethal when it spread to gangsters of each group."
It's an interesting angle for a mob movie, and doubly so with Chase and Konner having written the script. And, hey, here's s'more good news: Alan Taylor, who helmed some of The Sopranos' best episodes (and, uh, Thor: The Dark World) is directing. We were initially skeptical of this entire project, but gotta be honest: each new announcement makes it a more and more attractive proposition. We're starting to get excited about this one.
Stay tuned for more updates on The Many Saints of Newark as they roll in.