You can go ahead and add The Sopranos prequel movie to the list of big-name projects lining Jon Bernthal’s slate.
The former Walking Dead actor has been on something of a roll ever since he departed AMC’s hit zombie drama – save for a brief cameo in last year’s mid-season finale, Bernthal’s Shane Walsh hasn’t been spotted since season 2 – given he’s nabbed roles in everything from The Wolf of Wall Street to David Ayer’s gritty WWII tank movie, Fury.
And now, having wrapped season 2 of The Punisher (ETA: Friday, January 18th), Jon Bernthal has set sights on his latest gig: The Sopranos prequel movie which, according to Variety, will have him star opposite Vera Farmiga of The Conjuring franchise. New Line failed to disclose any casting information, so it’s unclear as yet who Bernthal and Farmiga will be playing when Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) steps behind the lens to direct.
Plot details are vague other than the film being set during the Newark riots in the ’60s. The exact roles of Bernthal and Farmiga have yet to be revealed. More players from the “Sopranos” lore are expected to be joining the cast.
Beyond that, there are precious few details available for The Sopranos prequel movie, though we do know that series creator David Chase will be heavily involved, thank the heavens. Indeed, according to Variety’s sources, Chase was instrumental in casting both Bernthal and Farmiga, and hand-picked Alessandro Nivola to play Dickie Moltisanti, another key character in this gangster-era spinoff.
But the question remains: can it possibly live up to the original Sopranos series? A series that many consider to be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement? Who knows, but New Line’s movie is certainly off to a flyer in the casting department.