Alessandro Joins 'The Sopranos' Prequel Film As Tony Sopranos' Uncle And Mentor

If you had doubted the Sopranos prequel film would actually happen when it was first announced in March, I'd be right there with you. So many of HBO's best shows tease feature films after they leave the air, with very few actually becoming a reality. When Alan Taylor was hired as director, that was when it really started to turn the corner. And now today we have the first official piece of casting news, and it's for a character whose legacy on The Sopranos was often felt, even though he was never actually seen.

Alessandro Nivola is in talks to play Richard "Dickey" Moltisanti in The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel film from series creator, David Chase. For those unaware, Dickey is the late uncle and mentor to eventual boss Tony Soprano, and the father to his oft-troubled nephew, Christopher, played by Michael Imperioli. Dickey is credited with being one of the guys who helped bring the Soprano Crew into the big time. Dickey was said to have been murdered by a cop when Chris was still an infant. Much later on, Tony delivers Dickey's killer to Chris as a means of bonding the boy to him and easing him into the mob life.

Nivola is an actor who has been around a long time, usually in showy supporting roles. He's appeared in everything from Face/Off to Jurassic Park III, American Hustle, Selma, and The Neon Demon, where he gave us the awesome gif you see above. I think for a time Hollywood toyed with the idea of making him a top leading man but it never really took. He starred in Amy Adams' breakout film, Junebug, and this year has been seen in Disobedience and You Were Never Really Here, so he stays plenty busy.

No word on when The Many Saints of Newark will roll, but with the cast coming together expect more news on that soon. [Variety]