The Many Saints of Newark director Alan Taylor has given his verdict on Tony Soprano's ultimate fate. Whether Tony dies or not in the ending scene of The Sopranos has been a point of debate with fans since it aired, as a seemingly ordinary scene in a restaurant between Tony (James Gandolfini) and his family suddenly cuts to black.
Taylor directed nine episodes of The Sopranos, including the Emmy-winning episode "Kennedy and Heidi" and the show's penultimate episode, "The Blue Comet." In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Taylor revealed he believes Tony is killed at the end of the series, answering, "I have to go with dead Tony. There are too many signifiers."
"The most important thing for me, I think, is that in the entire history of The Sopranos, there is only one line of dialogue that has ever been played a second time as a voiceover, and that's when Bobby Baccalieri says you don't hear the bullet [when you're killed]... " he continued, referencing the moment in Season 6 episode "Stage Five." Silvio (Stephen Van Zandt) says while discussing the shooting of Jerry Torciano (John Bianco), "The scary thing was that I didn't know what happened until the shot was fired."
The Many Saints of Newark offers fans another perspective on Tony's life, following his upbringing and relationship with the mysterious uncle Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola). Taylor opened up to PopCulture.com ahead of the movie's premiere about creating a story for Tony leading up to the character believed to be one of the most iconic television characters of all time.
"One of the big questions of the movie is, 'Is our destiny locked, or can we change who we are? Can we rewrite who we are?'" Taylor said, pointing to Leslie Odom Jr.'s character Harold as "the only character who maybe has a positive answer to that question" because of the experiences in 1967 "with the riots and stuff, you see him change over the course of the movie." Taylor even expressed his support for a spinoff for Harold's character, responding, "Yeah. He should get his own spinoff. That's a great idea." The Many Saints of Newark is in theaters now.