1 of 2 | Michael Gandolfini has signed on to play a young Tony Soprano in the upcoming film "The Many Saints of Newark." File Photo Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Michael Gandolfini, the son of late Emmy winner James Gandolfini, is set to star in The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, New Line Cinema announced Tuesday.
"Sopranos' Prequel Film Finds Young Tony: Michael Gandolfini Is Chip Off Old Block," New Line Cinema tweeted.
Gandolfini, 19, will play the younger version of Tony Soprano in the upcoming film, which is set in the 1960s. Gandolfini's father played Tony as a middle-aged, New Jersey mob boss from 1999 to 2007 on The Sopranos.
Deadline said the filmmakers auditioned numerous actors for the role of young Tony in Saints before deciding Gandolfini, who looks and acts much like his dad, was perfect for the part.
The younger Gandolfini has previously appeared in the HBO series The Deuce and the 2018 movie Ocean's Eight.
"It's a profound honor to continue my dad's legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano," Gandolfini said in a statement to Variety. "I'm thrilled that I am going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for The Many Saints of Newark."
Alan Taylor is directing the movie, which was written by Sopranos creator Chase and Lawrence Konner. The cast will also include Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen, Vera Farmiga, Corey Stoll and Alessandro Nivola.
James Gandolfini died of a heart attack at the age of 51 while vacationing with his son in Rome, Italy on June 20, 2013.