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'Sopranos' movie? Steven Van Zandt says 'unlikely'
While Steven Van Zandt has high hopes for The Rascals' reunion run at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, he's not holding his breath for a movie version of his old HBO show, "The Sopranos."
A longtime member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, Van Zandt wrote, directed and produced The Cap's unique reunion shows for the Rascals, whose hits include "Good Lovin'" and "Groovin'." Eschewing a traditional reunion concert format, he scripted a theatrical component called "Once Upon a Dream" that uses narration, archival footage and filmed re-enactments to supplement the Rascals' live performances. The first of six such shows kicked off at The Cap Thursday night, with more performances running through Dec. 22, and he's hoping that a good showing in Westchester could lead to a national tour and a run on Broadway.
But when I chatted last week with Van Zandt, who played loyal mobster Silvio Dante on "The Sopranos," he told me the prospect of a cinematic reunion with his cast mates is far less likely — despite Tony Sirico, also known as Pauly Walnuts, implying otherwise.
"I think Tony Sirico, going around, hinting to everybody that we're going to do the movie, was hoping to will it into existence," Van Zandt said with a laugh. "But the truth of the matter is, it just doesn't look likely. There's no practical way to do it, in terms of the script: Half of the characters have been killed. If you [do a prequel], the actors look too old. If you do a sequel, then you don't have half the original actors [because their characters were killed off]. ... So, that is unlikely."
That's not to say he isn't still close with his friends from the Bada Bing. Wednesday night, he and the E Street Band backed Springsteen at the 12-12-12 concert, where Van Zandt's buddies James Galdolfini, Lorraine Bracco and nearly a dozen fellow "Sopranos" cast members answered phones to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims. Van Zandt also served as music supervisor to "Sopranos" creator David Chase's first feature film, "Not Fade Away," which stars Gandolfini in a supporting role and is slated for a Dec. 21 release.
While it's hard to find fault with Van Zandt's reasoning for not doing a "Sopranos" movie, Newsday Westchester is somewhat disappointed, if only because quite a few of its stars have Hudson Valley connections. Bracco, who played therapist Dr. Jennifer Melfi, was a longtime Palisades resident. Michael Imperioli, who portrayed hot-headed mobster Christopher (say it with me: "Chris-tuh-fuh") Moltisanti, was raised in Mount Vernon and Brewster. Vincent Pastore, who played Salvatore Bonpensiero, grew up in New Rochelle. And Jason Cerbone, who played Jackie Aprile Jr., is a Yonkers native who graduated from Concordia College In Bronxville.