Also starring Edie Falco, the 10-minute scene was shot in 2010 – three years after David Chase’s seminal HBO series drew to a close.
Falco has revealed the project came about thanks to the New York Knicks basketball team, who recruited the pair in an attempt to lure LeBron James when he was a free agent.
The Sopranos ended in 2007 with a finale that continues to be meticulously analysed to this day. It depicts a seemingly ordinary restaurant scene between Tony and his family, which ends with the screen cutting to black.
The big question around the show is whether Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano died in that scene – but this short film, the contents of which has been revealed on Chuck D’s podcast Shattered: Hope, Heartbreak and the New York Knicks, confirms he survived the series.
It shows both Tony and Carmela living married life in witness protection.
“I do remember doing it and what is absolutely amazing to me is I didn’t know who LeBron James was,” said Falco.
“We got those requests all the time back then and Jim Gandolfini, he did nothing. And somehow, he agreed to this thing, which I was shocked by. I thought it was a prank when someone said Jim’s going to do it.”
Falco, recalling first seeing Gandolfini as a bearded Tony on set in the actor’s apartment, continued: “There he was, dressed as Tony – he must have been a bigger basketball fan than I realised.”
It’s not certain whether the Jonathan Hock-directed film was intended to ever be publicly released, but it ultimately failed in luring James over to the basketball team.
“I couldn’t believe that it didn’t work – not so much because of The Sopranos; I just thought, it’s New York. How does anyone say no to New York, for God’s sake? But he did!”
Gandolfini died of a heart attack in Rome three years later when he was 51.
A few years back, the show’s creator once seemed to accidentally confirm what happened in the show’s controversial final scene.
Chase was being interviewed for The Sopranos Sessions, a book celebrating the HBO series, when he seemed to hint at what what happened after the famous cut to black.
The Sopranos is currently available to watch in is entirety on NOW.
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