Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa spent much of the pandemic reliving The Sopranos on their addictive Talking Sopranos podcast, and it looks like one guest especially appreciated their chemistry: Sopranos creator David Chase is reportedly working on a new project for the pair.
Imperioli spoke to The New York Times for a profile pegged to his upcoming appearance on HBO’s The White Lotus. Imperioli will play a Hollywood bigshot with impulse control issues. It has some similarities with his acclaimed role on The Sopranos as Chrisopher Moltisanti, a New Jersey mob hothead with Hollywood ambitions. Imperioli is also starring in Hulu’s upcoming The Fool, in which he will play, according to the Times, “a Unitarian cleric with a messianic streak and a debilitatingly large penis.”
Imperioli also made a big screen splash last year with a [SPOILER ALERT] very surprise appearance in The Many Saints of Newark, which featured a shock voiceover from the grave, performed by Imperioli, resuming the role of Christopher. [END SPOILER ALERT]. The film focused mostly on the Moltisanti family for whom the film is named, especially Christopher’s father, Dickie Moltisanti, played by Alessandro Nivola.
Maybe Imperioli’s charming back-and-forth with Schirripa reminded everyone in Hollywood how good he is, and brought in the high-profile offers? If nothing else, it inspired Chase, who co-wrote The Many Saints of Newark and has publicly kicked around the idea of more Sopranos offshoots. There’s no word on what the new project is about — the Times only parenthetically mentions it that Chase is “writing a new project for Imperioli and Schirripa.” What it’s about is anybody’s guess.
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Could the new project have a Sopranos connection? Maybe it’s a flashback, feature-length “bottle episode” kind of story involving Imperioli’s Christopher and Schirripa’s Bobby Bacala? This part is pure speculation, but a Christopher and Bobby reunion seems unlikely [ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT] — unless it takes place in the afterlife, or there’s some mild Irishman-style de-aging involved. Imperioli and Schirripa are both 15 years older than they were on the show, in which they didn’t interact all that much, even though they had plenty of shared grievances. Both Christopher and Bobby were in Tony Soprano’s mob and actual families, in different capacities, as well as in his towering shadow. And both clashed with Tony, played by the late James Gandolfini, in tragic ways.
The Many Saints of Newark ends in a way that could easily set up another prequel about Tony Soprano’s life before The Sopranos. But given that young Tony is played by James Gandolfini’s son, Michael Gandolfini, any such film involving Christopher and Bobby would likely have to cast younger actors for their parts, too.
So it looks like we’re getting a new David Chase project starring two actors we love, Michael Imperiolo and Steve Schirripa, and we’re more than delighted at that.
Main image: Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa on The Sopranos.