The Sopranos spin-off show may be coming to HBO Max

The Many Saints of Newark
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Even though The Sopranos prequel film The Many Saints of Newark has been a box office flop – just $11.4 million worldwide on a reported budget of $50 million – on the US streaming service HBO Max it's apparently gone down pretty well. So much so that another TV show based on the series is now a real possibility.

"We’re talking to David [Chase] about a new series, Sopranos related, on HBO Max," said Warner Bros.' Ann Sarnoff in an interview with Deadline, touting the success of the movie. The release of the film was split between theaters in the US and HBO Max. 

Given the show's origins on the HBO cable network, it makes sense the movie would perform well there. It's also pushed the original series back into HBO Max's 10 most watched shows 14 years after it ended, which illustrates there's still some value in The Sopranos as a franchise that goes beyond those dreadful dollar numbers. 

"[The movie] literally lifted the Sopranos franchise in a new way, so you can’t measure it in and of itself in the box office," Sarnoff added. The report mentions that it's unclear whether the project would be a series or a film at this point, though. 

We even know what the potential show or movie might look like – with creator David Chase indicating it'd be set after The Many Saints of Newark's early 1970s timeframe. "There’s only one way that I would do it, and that was if Terry [Winter] and I could write the script together. That I would do," Chase added. Terence Winter was one of the original writers on The Sopranos, and the creator of two other HBO shows, Boardwalk Empire and Vinyl.

The Sopranos universe seems destined to continue in some form, then – Chase signed a new deal with Warner Bros. in early October covering future TV and film projects.

Why The Sopranos makes more sense on the small screen

The Many Saints of Newark's box office is almost certainly a result of the pandemic – older movie fans are the most reticent to return to cinemas. But it's hard not to wonder if the movie would've made more sense on a streaming service to begin with, especially considering that The Sopranos' home has always firmly been on the small screen. 

When HBO brought Deadwood back for a movie, for example, more than a decade after the foul-mouthed Western series went off the air, it did so on TV. That might've made more sense in this case – especially since outside of the US, the movie has had limited success on the big screen. 

The reason HBO Max wants The Sopranos to continue in some form, of course, is that it's an easy sell to potential subscribers. Much like how Game of Thrones is getting a spin-off series in House of the Dragon next year, it allows the streamer to leverage more content from one of its biggest ever series.

Recognizable and rewatchable properties are an asset in the streaming age, and older shows have kept their value because fans never really stopped watching them. 

Samuel Roberts

Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.