A prequel to hit U.S. mafia drama "The Sopranos" is being developed as a movie, possibly reuniting some of television's most beloved characters, New Line Cinema said on Thursday.
New Line, a unit of Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros, said it has purchased the screenplay "The Many Saints of Newark" from series creator David Chase and fellow "Sopranos" writer Lawrence Konner.
The script is set during the social and racial tumult of 1960s Newark, New Jersey, and will focus on tensions between ethnic Italians and African-Americans.
New Line said the film is expected to include some characters from the Emmy-winning series that ended in 2007. The show was credited with ushering in TV's new golden age of complicated characters and challenging storylines, as well as turning HBO into an industry behemoth. There was no set release date and no casting announcement.
"Sopranos" star James Gandolfini died in 2013 of a heart attack at age 51, and supporting actor Frank Vincent, who played mob boss Phil Leotardo, died last year.
"David is a masterful storyteller and we, along with our colleagues at HBO, are thrilled that he has decided to revisit, and enlarge, the Soprano universe in a feature film," Emmerich said in a statement.
No director is attached to the film yet, New Line said.
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