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A 'Sopranos' prequel? David Chase doesn't rule it out

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in HBO's

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in HBO's "The Sopranos." Credit: HBO

"The Sopranos," one of TV's and American culture's crowning achievements, will forever be denied the possibility of a sequel. But what of a prequel? Where Newark of the '60s is explored? The drug trade explodes? The mob and mob-related activities do, as well? A north Jersey family named the Sopranos gets its start, and begins to solidify its hold ... violently? 

You'd watch that, right?

In an interview with The Associated Press promoting the series' Blu-ray release, creator David Chase was asked about the possibility and answered in the affirmative.

The pull quote:  

"Even if I did it, it wouldn't be 'The Sopranos' that was on the air -- obviously at least one person is gone that we would need," he says. "There are a couple of eras that would be interesting for me to talk about, about Newark, New Jersey. One would be ... [the] late '60s, early '70s, about all the racial animosity, or the beginning, the really true beginning of the flood of drugs."

The difference between reality and possibility is a vast gulf, of course, but Chase is not one for idle gossip or speculation; yes, he's on the promotion circuit, but he's clearly thought this out, and I would bet that if he has, others -- notably HBO -- have listened. The idea is fascinating -- almost a "'The Wire'-meets-Tony" -- and fans know full well that "The Sopranos" certainly did explore the early days, in generous flashbacks. Could this work? Absolutely. 

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