For all that The Sopranos was, well…The Sopranos—redefining, nearly single-handedly, the artistic perception of cable television for an entire generation—its creator, David Chase, has never been the most prolific force. (Somewhat hilariously, his only TV credit since the series wrapped in 2007 was a voice cameo, as himself, in an episode of BoJack Horseman.) But now, with Sopranos prequel film The Many Saints Of Newark set to arrive this weekend in both theaters, and on HBO Max, HBO has just announced that it’s landed a new deal to get more of Chase’s distinctive voice onto the network he helped transform into one of the TV powerhouses of the 21st century.
This is per THR, which reports that Chase has just signed a “massive” new overall deal with the AT&T-owned network, giving HBO first-look at any projects he develops over the next five years. That includes, obviously, any new Sopranos content, since, after a decade-plus of resisting any efforts to extend the series past its legendarily contentious finale, Chase has clearly softened on the idea of filling out its backstory. (He and director Alan Taylor have given a “might” and “maybe,” respectively, to the idea of a follow-up to Many Saints.)
For those keeping track, Chase has launched exactly one major non-Sopranos project since 2007, the messy-but-interesting writer-director film effort Not Fade Away. Interestingly, he was developing a miniseries project at HBO over the last few years—a sprawling exploration of the history of early Hollywood titled A Ribbon Of Dreams—but ultimately decided not to pursue it after the network offered him what he recently described to Alan Seppinwall as “a cheesy budget” to get it made.
HBO president Casey Bloys and Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich—who, in Chase’s telling, has been basically tireless in his efforts to get more material out of him over the years—both issued statements about the deal, with Bloys calling Chase, “one of the most gifted storytellers working in the film and television industry.”
Not surprisingly, the news comes as The Sopranos is apparently surging in the streaming lists, propelled by the arrival of The Many Saints Of Newark. You can read our—less than glowing—review of the film here, and dip into Emily VanDerWerff’s full recaps of the original series here.