David Chase is back, baby, and he’s bringing the Sopranos with him. In addition to delivering a brand-spanking-new trailer (which absolutely rocks) today, Chase gave a rather revealing interview to Deadline about his career, his cast, and what’s next for The Many Saints Of Newark.
Chase is notoriously a prickly pear. But currently, he’s “very pleased” with Many Saints, and just to be clear what he means by that: “I’m not an easy guy to please. I don’t please myself that often. I didn’t say I pleasure myself. I said please myself…I don’t do that either very often.” Glad we got that out of the way.
The interview does give some fascinating anecdotes about what expanding the world of The Sopranos took. This includes a version of the series where “we would take the same cast and put them in the city of Hoboken in police uniforms and have them fill a precinct in Hoboken, and be completely corrupt.” Chase admits that this was “a brain fart than anything else.” Nevertheless, Chase confesses that HBO’s enthusiasm with Alan Taylor’s film has made exploring the mythos more appetizing. That is, if the environment were to his liking. “There’s only one way that I would do it, and that was if [Terence Winter] and I could write the script together. That I would do.” He elaborates:
CHASE: A sequel to this movie you saw. In other words, what happens after this movie’s over, before the TV show starts.
DEADLINE: A time when, as Tony put it in The Sopranos, when it was really good to be in this business.
CHASE: If it ever was. With Tony in his 20s. That would be interesting to do, and there’s a lot of stories that exist already because of the mythology, and working with Terry would be great. He and I in that world again, I think we’d have a good time. I wouldn’t do it on my own, and I would not do it with anybody else. If Warners wanted it, they own it, they can do whatever they want.
DEADLINE: The formation of those characters who surrounded Tony in New Jersey, there has to be a lot more great stories to tell.
CHASE: How did these crooks [rise] in New Jersey, and what was Tony’s real ascending first step? I mean, obviously, he got made at some point. He obviously killed a guy at some point. That is, according to the show, his father sent him out to do that.
That’s not to say that Chase is all sunshine and roses this day. In the interview, he goes through his struggles in the post-Sopranos world. “I did the movie, Not Fade Away,” he said. “I mean, nobody even saw it thanks to Paramount. And then I wrote a six-part series, six-hour series for HBO on the beginnings of Hollywood. They wanted to do it, but they wanted me to shoot it in Ontario, Canada, and there was a problem with money. They didn’t want to spend that, it was too much money, and so, it never came together. I wrote another screenplay for Paramount, and they would’ve made it with the right actress, but the actresses weren’t interested.”
He’s also aware of how rare a thing like The Sopranos is, where everything seems to work. “You can say oh, you stepped wrong on this episode, that fucking Christopher Columbus episode. People could complain about it, right? Oh, that episode was no good, that line was stupid…the CGI on Nancy [Marchand] was pathetic. But by and large, everything worked.”
The whole interview is worth reading, particularly for his thoughts on Vera Farmiga’s resemblance to Edie Falco (Tony married his mother), day-and-date releases (“Extremely angry”), and more. Plus, he puts Wikipedia on blast for getting his name wrong. It’s David Chase, and don’t you forget it.