The ambiguous ending of The Sopranos has bothered its legions of fans since it aired in 2007, with many left wondering what really happened to crime king-pin Tony Sopranos.
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The final episode of the critically acclaimed HBO series saw Tony Soprano sat in a family diner, looking up at the door before the show abruptly cuts to black.
Its sudden ending has seen some fans wonder whether Tony, played by the late, great James Gandolfini, met his maker in the deliberately ambiguous scene – a theory that series creator, David Chase, has never confirmed.
However, Chase may have let slip that the mob boss was murdered in the series finale in Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwal’s The Sopranos Sessions, a book written to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary.
In one long-form interview with Chase in the book, the 73-year-old referred to another death scene he originally had planned for Tony that plays out in a similar fashion.
“Yes, I think I had that death scene around two years before the end,” Chase explains.
“Tony was going to get called to a meeting with Johnny Sack in Manhattan, and he was going to go back through the Lincoln Tunnel for this meeting, and it was going to go black there and you never saw him again as he was heading back, the theory being that something bad happens to him at the meeting. But we didn’t do that.”
While Tony’s final scene may not have played out like that exactly, the cut to black did seem to suggest that viewers were meant to acknowledge the character had perished.
And it appears Chase realises he may have said too much when Seitz remarks on the phrase “death scene”, which sees him reply, “F*** you guys.”
Whether we’ll ever find out what really happened to Tony Soprano is yet to be seen, but for those missing the mob family, Chase’s prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark is set to tell us more about the Sopranos’ family history.
Set in the 60s, the plot will observe Tony Soprano’s boyhood while tensions between Italian and African-American gangs were at an all-time high.
“I was interested in Newark and life in Newark at that time. I used to go to down there every Saturday night for dinner with my grandparents,” Chase explained to Deadline. “But the thing that interested me most was Tony’s boyhood. I was interested in exploring that.
“The movie will deal with the tensions between the blacks and whites at the time, and Tony Soprano will be part of this, but as a kid.”
In celebration of the show’s 20th anniversary, every series of The Sopranos is now available to stream on NOW TV, contract free. For more information, visit www.nowtv.com.