By Tyler Aquilina
January 13, 2021 at 08:03 PM EST
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Credit: Anthony Neste/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

The return of Tony Soprano will be delayed a bit longer.

Warner Bros. has postponed the release of the upcoming Sopranos prequel film The Many Saints of Newark from March to Sept. 24, 2021. The film was originally scheduled for release in September 2020 but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new release date, however, is likely not due to the current pandemic surge, as Warner Bros. plans to release all its 2021 films in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously to prevent further delays. Sources close to the production told Variety that the change is intended to allow Many Saints to premiere on the fall film festival circuit and to better position it for an awards season campaign.

Co-written by The Sopranos creator David Chase and helmed by frequent series director Alan Taylor, The Many Saints of Newark is set against the backdrop of the 1967 riots in Newark, N.J., the result of flaring tensions between the city's Black and Italian residents. Alessandro Nivola will star in the lead role of Dickie Moltisanti (Christopher's father), with James Gandolfini's son Michael taking on the role of Tony. The cast also includes Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Ray Liotta, and Vera Farmiga.

"I have really high hopes about the film," Nivola previously told EW. "What David did was to tell an origin story of Tony Soprano through a character that was dead before the series and that is such a surprising way of going about it. And the late '60s mob movie is the stuff of dreams. Everyone was at the top of their game. The only infuriating thing is how long we have to wait."

Indeed.

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