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James Gandolfini's son cast as young Tony Soprano in prequel movie

Michael Gandolfini, whose credits include HBO's "The Deuce, will carry on his late dad's legacy in "The Many Saints of Newark."
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/ Source: TODAY

What happens in the family, stays in the family. That goes for "The Sopranos" and for the Gandolfinis.

There's a new movie in the works that will roll back the clock on the beloved New Jersey-based crime drama, and the role of young Tony Soprano has been filled by someone perfectly suited to follow in the footsteps of late star James Gandolfini — his 19-year-old son, Michael Gandolfini.

James Ganolfini's son, Michael Gandolfini, has been cast to play young Tony Soprano in the upcoming prequel, "The Many Saints of Newark."

"Sopranos" creator David Chase selected the up-and-coming actor, whose credits include HBO's "The Deuce," to take on the part of the future mob boss in "The Many Saints of Newark."

"It’s a profound honor to continue my dad’s legacy while stepping into the shoes of a young Tony Soprano," Gandolfini said in a statement to Deadline Tuesday. "I’m thrilled that I’m going to have the opportunity to work with David Chase and the incredible company of talent he has assembled for ‘The Many Saints of Newark.’"

That talent includes stars Alessandro Nivola ("American Hustle"), Jon Bernthal ("The Punisher"), Vera Farmiga ("Up in the Air"), Corey Stoll ("House of Cards") and Billy Magnussen ("Game Night").

"The Sopranos," from left, Tony Sirico, Michael Imperioli, James Gandolfini and Steven Van Zandt.AP

The story is set in the era of the 1960s Newark riots and reportedly focuses on the rise of a generation of Jersey mafiosos amid a hotbed of violent gangster activity.

The casting news comes less than two weeks after the hugely popular HBO series, which came to a close in 2007, celebrated the 20th anniversary of its premiere.

Robert Iler, Michael Gandolfini and Jamie-Lynn Sigler attend the "The Sopranos" 20th Anniversary Panel Discussion at SVA Theater on January 09, 2019 in New York City.Getty Images

The elder Gandolfini's portrayal of the haunted mob leader and family man was central to the show's massive success. He won three Emmys, three SAG Awards and one Golden Globe for his work. The 51-year-old died of a heart attack in Rome, Italy, in 2013.

"I once asked David Chase what did it (mean) to find Gandolfini, and he looked at me as though I was crazy," GQ writer and author of "Difficult Men" Brett Martin told TODAY back in 2013, shortly after Gandolfini's death.

"He said, 'It meant everything.' What he brought to that role, the depth and the humanity and the kind of soulfulness, as well as the ugliness and the anger. It changed television forever, really."

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There's no word yet on when "The Many Saints of Newark" will be released.