In recent weeks we have returned to talk about various topics related to the world of pro-wrestling, not exactly uplifting, with Ric Flair, twice WWE Hall of Famer, as well as 16 times world champion in his career with WWE and WCW, who was hit by a wave of mud, due to one of the last episodes of the well-known Dark Side of the Ring broadcast, in which the lights are placed on some macabre topics or truly aberrant facets of the wrestling discipline.
From this broadcast, it emerged that Ric Flair has repeatedly deliberately harassed women in his career and in his private life, with such attitudes that have obviously been condemned by all the television stations that work with WWE and whose audience is composed mostly of the families.
Apparently, the name of Ric Flair’s become untouchable, as was that of Hulk Hogan after the scandal of the racist phrases, against one of his daughter’s friends.
Backstage News on Ric Flair
According to what was revealed in the last few hours by the well-known site Ringside News, at the moment the void would have been literally created around the figure of the two-time WWE Hall of Famer, with all the important television partners of the Stamford company, which would have completely canceled the name of Ric Flair from the list of possible Legends that could appear in the future on the television screens of the federation.
In a sentence that emerged from some speeches from WWE circles, it is even said that Ric Flair is compared to an Indian “pariah”, or the so-called “untouchables”, part of the lower castes of the Indians, who are precisely ousted from society for the most disparate reasons.
After what emerged on TV with that television broadcast, therefore, a vortex of the destruction of the character of the Nature Boy seems to have been created, which is unlikely to be extinguished in the coming months, so it is very unlikely that we will see the face of the WWE Hall of Famer on the company’s television screens of the WWE in a short time, also because both USA Network and FOX, have expressed the will not work with this character.
Ric Flair and Sting memorably faced off against each other in the main event of the last episode of WCW Nitro. While Ric Flair joined WWE shortly thereafter, Sting didn’t show up in WWE until 2014. Though their paths rarely crossed in WWE, the two legends met again in TNA (IMPACT Wrestling) and rekindled their rivalry.
On September 12, 2011, Sting and Ric Flair faced off one last time on an episode of IMPACT, and The Stinger emerged victorious.
Adam Sandler’s love of comedy has been more than apparent over the course of his illustrious career. In the midst of that though, some fans may have noticed that he also has an affinity for sports, particularly basketball. Not only has he inserted the game into some of his films but, once in a while, he’ll also hoop it up a bit during his spare time. On rare occasions, he’ll even play a pick-up game with fans. Sandler’s latest b-ball endeavor saw him attempt an even greater feat, however. The actor and comedian took a shot from a balcony… and skillfully drained it!
It’s honestly pretty impressive how the Sandman finds new ways to prove that he’s a pretty skilled basketball player. After this latest video, which was posted to Instagram, we’ll probably hear a little bit of bragging from the star. Yet can we really blame him after sinking a shot like that? Check it out for yourself in the post down below:
Sports fans certainly have seen NBA greats like Michael Jordan and LeBron James pull off some amazing shots over the years. Even actors like Keanu Reeves have shown some amazing b-ball skills. But I’d say that Adam Sandler certainly has the leg up over many of his Hollywood peers. And if you need to be convinced of how good he is on the court, check out the mixtape down below:
The star has found some nice ways to integrate the sportl into some of his projects over the years. For instance, in 2010’s Grown Ups, his character, along with his childhood friends, played on a basketball team in their youth. And the film ultimately ended with the group playing a game against their former rivals.
And of course, we can’t ignore the heavy influence the sport has on the acclaimed Uncut Gems. The film partially revolves around the 2012 NBA Playoffs and even features hall of famer Kevin Garnett (who was a Boston Celtic during that season) in a supporting role. It should also be mentioned that even the film itself has the intense energy that’s usually present within basketball games.
The sport will be the driving force behind Adam Sandler’s upcoming Netflix movie, Hustle. In it, he portrays a former basketball scout who brings an international prospect over to the states to play in the NBA. And in the process, the agent hopes to rejuvenate his own career. The film also features Queen Latifah and Robert Duvall, while Sandler serves as a producer alongside LeBron James.
This probably won’t be the last time we see Adam Sandler with a basketball in his hands, and I’m personally ready to see how he plans to top that balcony shot. He’s still got plenty of energy in him to pull off something great yet, when he plays, I would recommend icing up those knees for good measure.
It’s only been two months since Disneyland Resort officially unveiled its replacement for the Annual Passport program, the Magic Keys. The new option for guests that wanted to visit the happiest place on earth frequently was remarkably similar to the program that existed before, which surprised a lot of people, but there was one significant addition, the need to make reservations prior to visiting the park.
As with Walt Disney World, reservation availability is limited, but Magic Keys pull reservations from a different calendar than standard ticket holders. This has resulted in a situation where even those that own the most expensive Magic Key, the one that is supposed to have no blackout dates, are still having trouble getting into the park, while standard ticket guests are not.
As of this writing on October 4th, owners of the Dream Key, the most expensive Magic Key, have no access to either Disneyland resort theme park until October 19. Only Disney California Adventure is available Oct 19-21, before the parks go dark again. The next time a Magic Key holder can get into Disneyland Park is currently October 26.
For standard ticket holders, however, while the park does appear to be booked solid on October 4 and 5, parks are available on October 6 and 7. Next week availability opens up even more. And starting October 17, it’s basically all open as long as you have a normal ticket, not a Magic Key.
Needless to say, there are Magic Key holders who are less than thrilled with the current situation. While Disneyland Resort made it clear at the outset that access to the parks was dependent on reservation availability, it was unclear at that point just what that meant. And the fact that reservations are available to standard guests, meaning that the park is not hitting capacity, makes the people who just gave Disney a chunk of money feel like they’re not getting anything for it.
When I first wrote about the new Magic Key program I said it would “probably” be good, but that “probably” caveat was specifically in regards to how the reservation calendar worked. If Magic Key holders had little problem getting in when they want there would be no problem. There is a problem.
this is Dec. now for the 2 highest Magic Key tiers. sundays already booked for Believe and fridays no Disneyland res at all. As someone who can only visit on certain weekends but can’t always plan more than 2 months in advance, there’s no good alternative. 🤷🏼♀️ https://t.co/17dfHJEX3v pic.twitter.com/rdUnrmoq5gOctober 3, 2021
A lot of people who have Magic Keys are southern California locals, who might not so much plan to visit Disneyland as they might simply decide to stop by and grab a snack or ride a couple favorites. The beauty of the Annual Passport was the ability to just drop in without a plan, but that benefit of the AP is gone, at least for the moment.
I’m not a Southern California local but back when I had an Annual Passport I rarely planned a trip more than a week or two in advance, as things stand now even that is largely impossible.
Part of the issue is likely that Disneyland is not back to full capacity yet. The park rarely got full prior to the pandemic, and since there are a couple of days this week where Disneyland looks to be entirely full, that’s likely because 100% capacity is not an option. One hopes that once that changes, reservations won’t be a problem anymore.
Until then, however, this lack of availability, for those that have already paid to have availability, may continue.
Bronson Reed is a former NXT Superstar and he recently spoke about being released by WWE with Chris Van Vliet. Bronson is also known as Jonah Rock. According to him, he was very surprised that WWE decided to release him in August as he had signed an extension deal with them prior to being released.
“Well it was very shocking at first,” Reed said. “I would be lying if I would say I wasn’t upset and angry, and all the emotions that come with something like this. It’s like the 7 stages of grief.
Even though I didn’t physically lose anyone, it was kind of like Bronson Reed had died. I’d spent the last few years investing in myself and becoming that character of Bronson Reed. But now that’s over and I have to look to something new.
I am bringing back a little bit of what I did before WWE and becoming JONAH again, but it was hard. I have been able to deal with it pretty well though. I’ve had hardships in life and in the professional wrestling business before that have sort of prepared me for if this day was to come.
I just didn’t think it would be any time soon”.
Bronson Reed Reveals He Signed an Extension with WWE Prior to Being Released
Bronson had already committed to staying with WWE even after his original deal expired.
He signed the deal two months before he was released. “I started at the start of 2019 on a 3-year deal. Only at the start of this year, I signed a new 3-year deal,” Reed revealed. “I was blindsided that halfway through the year that I was released.
Also with where I was placed in the card and how I was utilized, I didn’t think it was coming”. “I got the call while I was watching SmackDown,” Bronson Reed said. “I was under the impression the last few months with WWE, I would be moving to a SmackDown or a RAW.
When I got the call, I assumed it was about going to RAW or going to SmackDown. I was quite happy on the phone and ready to hear that news. When the call was that I was getting released, that mood completely changed. I was in shock and awe.
I made sure to question why, and they didn’t really give me a reason at all, which is even more frustrating because then you question yourself. Like, ‘what happened?’ I think shock was the initial reaction, but then I was more angry than upset.
There was a lot more that I could have done, but that got taken away. But now I see that it is an avenue for me to do that somewhere else”.
A young and modern couple who go to France to explore an underwater house and share their findings on social media undergoes a serious change of plans when the couple enter the interior of a strange house located at the bottom of the sea and their presence awakens a spirit dark that haunts the house.
The duo of writers and directors who brought us the vicious “Inside” from 2007, Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, were back at Fantasia Festival for the North American premiere of their (mostly) found footage film entitled “The Deep House”.
A couple (Camille Rowe and James Jagger) roam around France, attempting to explore the abandoned and unexplorable. They get a tip from a local who, for a small fee, is willing to take them to a hidden lake that apparently hides a house underwater before the area was completely flooded. The man and woman gleefully accept and, along with their underwater drone, Tom, dive into the murky lake’s water to discover the forgotten home. Once they enter it, however, they are about to find out that something cursed has been waiting, lurking underwater all this time…
Fans of found footage films were evidently excited to discover this very interesting concept. Fans of the Bustillo/Maury duo were most likely excited to see a new horrific project emerge on their end, as well. Unfortunately, the film has its ups and downs, with some disappointing downs, at that. Let’s begin by underlining the fact that the concept is a very original one. An underwater haunted house? Yes, please. The visuals of the first half of the film are definitely interesting and underwater movies always plunge its viewers into the bottom of the ocean or the sea, so it was interesting to be submerged in the dark waters of a lake. There are numerous aspects of the film that will weight down on viewers, depending on their phobias. At times, the suffocating feeling of lacking oxygen takes over. Claustrophobia also hits in some tightly narrowed-down areas, and of course, spirits chasing you while you try to swim away must be quite the scare.
Camille Rowe and James Jagger definitely bring credibility to the table in their portrayals of their characters. While Jagger’s character is more of the adventurous type, although mainly focusing on gaining more viewers on YouTube from his videos and making some money from it, his girlfriend is much more cautious in her exploring ways, reticent even to disappoint him in the amount of time she can hold her breath under water.
Although “The Deep House” has its creepy moments, the second half of its tale is where its appeal begins to crumble. Characters begin to make questionable decisions in addition to having doubtful reactions to situations that are clearly out-of-the-ordinary and downright ominous. Fans of found footage enjoy its subgenre for the fact that the audience is placed directly into the film as an involved participant, feeling the fear as it startles them, head on. However, the camera and directorial skills must be on point for this to be appreciated. Sadly enough, the shakiness and darkness of the latter half of the movie ruin most of its enjoyment. Viewers will surely roll their eyes at the numerous moments when the screen goes dark or is shaking so vigorously that nothing is quite perceivable onscreen.
The entire film isn’t a complete waste of time, however. As mentioned above, it’s got a truly intriguing concept, sure to reel in some viewers. The acting is genuine, the visuals, for the most part (when the audience can actually see something), are strikingly beautiful, and the eventual development of the backstory of the house is definitely something to be savored. The second half of the Bustillo/Maury movie is what will most likely be a disappointing letdown after such a promising first half. The (mostly) found footage film from the French writer/director duo does just enough to barely reach a passing grade of 6/10.
“Promises Broken”, the latest episode of The Walking Dead, continues with Maggie’s group escaping into the woods. Negan wants to turn back after Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) warning. Maggie and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) refuse to return empty handed. Negan knows they need him. He’ll help them with a new tactic if Maggie promises not to kill him. She begrudgingly accepts the truce. They see walkers approaching that were previously their friends.
In the Commonwealth, Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Stephanie (Chelle Ramos), Princess (Paola Lazaro) and Ezekiel (Khary Payton) are forced to clear walkers as punishment. Eugene asks Stephanie if he can trust Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton). She swears that he can. A sick Ezekiel struggles to fight the dead. Princess begs him “to see a doctor, they got real hospitals here.” They see Mercer (Michael James Shaw) and his troops guarding a preppie couple that sniggers at “the smell.”
Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), now wearing a dress suit and her hair up, is being interviewed by another administrator. She wants to know how long her friends will be punished. Then demands to see Pamela Milton. In Meridian, Daryl watches a Reaper lock the warehouse door for the food rations.
In the woods, Father Gabriel holds a funeral. They tie up the remaining walkers. Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) wants to find his sister. Then kill the Reaper that murdered her. Gabriel leaves the group to scout ahead. Maggie tells Negan to get walkers “that weren’t her friends.”
In Meridian, another patrol comes back with no sign of Maggie’s group. Pope (Ritchie Coster) berates the men angrily, “There are dozens out there!” Leah (Lynne Collins) defends them. She volunteers to search again with Daryl. As they trek into the woods, Daryl probes her for more information. He asks why they need to find these people. They have “walls” and “food”, so “you kill everybody and he goes back to being a good guy?”
Maggie wears a skin mask. Negan, also masked, tells her to “lower your shoulders” and “go limp.” He releases the walkers. Maggie struggles and the walkers attack her. They tie them up again. Negan says he will find her a better face.
Father Gabriel surveils Meridian from a tree with binoculars. He sees Mancea (Dikran Tulaine) praying as he walks to their graveyard. Mancea grabs his knife as he senses someone around him. He prays loudly to show him the way. Gabriel unsheathes his cutlass, but stays hidden and doesn’t kill Mancea.
In the Commonwealth train station, Yumiko talks to Tomi (Ian Anthony Dale). She begs him to be a surgeon again. He tells her she can never reveal his true skills. He’s happy with his life. Suddenly they are surrounded by guards. A stunned Tomi is dragged away from his sister.
Maggie, wearing a better fitting skin mask, leads more walkers into a rope pen. Negan watches her with a smirk by their campfire. Elijah asks Maggie, “If he’s changed.” She replies, “We can’t know that.” In the Commonwealth, Yumiko confronts Lance Hornsby. She wants to know why Tomi was arrested and how long her friends will be punished. Hornsby knows that she’s been groomed as “another Harvard graduate” for Pamela Milton. He hopes she “will be inclined to return favors.”
Daryl and Leah come upon a house. Daryl sees fresh tracks. They find a man (Burke Brown) hiding. He swears his wife is hurt. Leah asks how he’s been able to avoid them. They force him to lead them to his family. Leah radios Pope. He orders her to “kill them.”
In the woods, Maggie and Negan talk over a roasted critter. He “feels for her” seeing her friends as the undead. He suffered losses when Rick killed his friends. Maggie tells him there were “no children at the satellite station.” Negan retorts, “Where did Aaron get Gracie?” Maggie fires back that he killed people “in front of their families.” Negan admits it, but the “world is different now.” When Maggie asks if “he would have done things differently”, Negan starkly replies “yes.” He “would have killed them all.”
A healthy Ezekiel returns to the others with Lance Hornsby. They are covered in bloody jumpsuits stacking bodies. Ezekiel brings them lollipops from the hospital. Hornsby orders Eugene and Stephanie to clear more walkers “near the fence line.” Gabriel returns to Maggie’s group, but lies to her about seeing Mancea.
Eugene and Stephanie see the preppie couple having a picnic with walkers approaching. They race to defend them. They kill the walkers, but the preppie man (Teo Rapp-Olsson) is furious. His “date was interrupted” and “we have private security for that.” Stephanie tries to pull Eugene away, but he’s irate at the rude and ungrateful man. A walker comes up behind the girl. Stephanie races to kill it, but sprays the girl with blood. When the preppie yells at her, Eugene slugs him.
Hornsby and Mercer run to the commotion. The arrogant preppie berates Mercer, then claims “these lunatics attacked us.” Eugene admits to hitting him. Hornsby asks, “Do you know who this is?” Yumiko enters Pamela Milton’s waiting room. Her secretary offers an “herbal tea” and is greatly concerned about Yumiko’s friends. She wants to know if “the new group” is okay. Drumroll please, this is the real Stephanie Vega (Margot Bingham). The phone rings. Pamela Milton has to reschedule, “Someone has attacked her son.”
Eugene sits on a cot in a dark prison. Hornsby walks in. He orchestrated the guards not being on duty, “You were supposed to save him. You’d have been a hero. You could have asked for anything.” Hornsby demands the location of Eugene’s home. Eugene wants promises they will be safe. Hornsby acidly replies, “Look how we’ve treated you.” When Hornsby turns to leave, a broken Eugene relents.
Maggie’s group, in their skin masks, leads a group of walkers. They come to a building and open a boarded door. A horde of trapped walkers start pouring out. In the woods, the young father takes Leah and Daryl into the home’s basement. He pulls apart a duct to reveal a boy (Brisco De Poalo) and his mother (Liz McGeever) with a terminal stomach wound.
Leah tells the father “to take his son and run.” The boy weeps, but his mother begs them to go. Her “prayers are answers.” Leah cries as she cannot shoot her. Daryl kills the mother with an arrow to the head. Then covers her body. He wants to tell Leah something, but the radio crackles. They are needed back in Meridian immediately. She’ll tell Pope that Daryl killed them. Maggie’s group leads the horde toward Meridian. Elijah sees his sister as a walker. Maggie gingerly holds his hand.
Lance Hornsby has cleverly duped Eugene from the beginning with the fake “Stephanie.” His true motives are still unclear as we haven’t met Pamela Milton. Using a walker horde against the Reapers is a smart move. It’ll be interesting to see if Daryl can turn Leah against Pope. The Walking Dead heads into its mid-season finale next Sunday night on AMC. The episode is available to stream now on AMC+.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TVweb.
It’s been 16 years since Daniel Craig was first cast as James Bond, with 2006’s Casino Royale marking the beginning of the actor’s tenure in the storied role. Through four sequels, a handful of injuries, and countless press days promoting his time as Ian Fleming’s landmark creation, Craig has definitely kept things interesting. But it should come as no surprise that while promoting No Time To Die with a very sweet comment, Daniel Craig admitted that sometimes it was quite a slog.
As he spoke with ET Online, the sixth actor to play the role of James Bond dug into how he feels about his entire arc, which is about to come to its end with No Time To Die. To be sure, Daniel Craig is extremely gracious for the opportunity, just as he has been throughout this latest round of press. But at the same time, Mr. Craig also continued to show the very human side of this extensive gig he’s held onto for almost two decades, courtesy of the following remarks:
Far from the seemingly incendiary comments that Daniel Craig made after finishing Spectre, hearing the James Bond experience labeled as a “slog” is pretty much earned at this point. With details coming out about how physical injuries left Craig unsure he could comfortably do one final 007 movie, those moments of slower going aren’t the worst of his time in the tuxedo. Not to mention, if your job sees you trading injuries with Dave Bautista, and laughing it off later on down the line, a slog or two is a pretty welcomed respite.
Though if we were to guess one of the periods of time that really felt like it was dragging for Daniel Craig’s James Bond career, it has to be the past year and a half. As No Time To Die was completed, but delayed from being released into theaters, Craig has been tied to the role for the longest amount of time any actor has been able to claim. But this last stretch has been one where the details of his exit, as well as the hunt for a new James Bond, have been prolonged due to unusual circumstances.
It’s one thing if production delays are causing a slowdown in the James Bond machinery, however it’s another when the world has grinded to a standstill like it did in 2020. Which only makes the fact that No Time To Die has already seen some fantastic results in international release totally worth the wait. Daniel Craig’s time as Bond, slogs and all, is officially coming to an end. The final push into the new age of James Bond will undoubtedly be a moment where it’s “gone like that,” providing the fitting end to the Craig era of 007,
You can catch the big finale to Daniel Craig’s James Bond story arc in No Time To Die, which is currently open in international markets. Meanwhile the US will finally get to take part in the fun, when early access IMAX showings unfurl this Wednesday. Though you may want to check your listings very carefully if you’re in a country outside of the US and UK, as the rollout for No Time To Die will see some nations slogging until November to finally indulge in the movie.
Akshay Kumar is a happy man. The actor simply knows how to find joy in small things. For instance, Akshay Kumar has begun the week on a happy note thanks to a morning run. And, this is no ordinary run. The actor was posting straight from the sets of his upcoming film, Raksha Bandhan and was shooting for a scene that required him to run. The actor explained that this was special as he was running through his birthplace, Chandni Chowk, which brought back several happy memories.
Sharing a view of the monitor, on which Akshay Kumar can be seen running, the actor said, “Today’s morning run on the sets of Raksha Bandhan brought back so many memories as it was in my birthplace, Chandni Chowk. And how lovely it was to hear the chatter of the people around, never gets old.” In the video, the sounds on the street are audible as Akshay Kumar sprints through the lane.
Raksha Bandhan is directed by Aanand L. Rai and written by Himanshu Sharma and Kanika Dhillon. The film stars Bhumi Pednekar in the lead role with Akshay Kumar.
Take a look at the video here:
Raksha Bandhan is not the only film that Akshay Kumar has been posting about. Recently, the actor also shared a behind-the-scenes image from the sets of Sooryavanshi. In the image, he is seen alongside Ranveer Singh, Ajay Devgn and director Rohit Shetty. Sharing the post, Akshay Kumar announced that the movie will release on Diwali 2021. An excerpt from the caption reads, “Ab kisi ke roke na rukegi – Aa Rahi Hai Police [Now, we won’t be stopped by anything — The police is arriving].”
Reacting to the image, Ranveer Singh wrote, “Aaja Akki Raja [Come, king Akshay]. The time has come.”
Akshay Kumar has always remained true to his roots. A few weeks ago, the actor confessed that even the streets of London reminded him of Ratlam. “Just finished my quarantine in London today and stepped out for some fresh air. One look around and I was immediately transported to Ratlam which I remember visiting as a child during my summer vacations. Anywhere I’d see, I could see green. Missing Ratlam ki galiyaan [Missing streets of Ratlam].”
Akshay Kumar was last seen in Bell Bottom. His upcoming projects include Sooryavanshi, Atrangi Re, Prithiviraj, Bachchan Pandey, Ram Setu, Cinderella, and OMG – Oh My God! 2.
Roman Reigns has been the iconic face of WWE for the past decade, despite having had to contend with a series of ups and downs. The ‘resume’ of the wrestler speaks for itself, although for many years he has had to deal with the disapproval of critics and negative reactions from fans.
The current Universal Champion took part in the main event of several WWE PPVs, including five editions of WrestleMania. His sensational turn heel – combined with his alliance with Paul Heyman – allowed Roman to fully express his talent and be appreciated by the public.
After defeating John Cena at SummerSlam, Reigns kept his belt by beating Finn Balor in the September 3 episode of SmackDown. On September 26, at Extreme Rules, the former Shield member did it again by defeating the Irish superstar once again.
During the last episode of ‘Stories’, the legendary JBL reflected on his experience as a WWE producer in the first half of the last decade. Although the WWE Hall of Famer didn’t love all aspects of that work, he did spend beautiful words for Roman Reigns.
JBL reflects on Roman Reigns
“I tried that job for a few months, but I have to admit I didn’t like it very much. You have to try to explain things to the athletes as clearly as possible in their interests, but you are forced to deal with many different ideas from yours.
There are several people I have dealt with at that time, some were fantastic, while with others there were more problems. I can confess that Roman Reigns was exceptional towards me” – said JBL. “We all know Roman’s career, he needs no introduction.
Even before he got to play the WrestleMania main event, it was evident that he had something more than everyone else” – he added. The ‘Tribal Chief’ has held the Universal title since August 2020. He will defend his belt against Brock Lesnar at WWE Crown Jewel, the show to be held in Saudi Arabia on 21 October.
It remains to be seen how WWE explains the finish to Extreme Rules. An option would be to reveal this footage and book a ‘Whodunit’ angle, with a heel Superstar being disguised as the cameraman who cost Finn Balor.
This would be a great storyline for him, following his feud with Roman Reigns. As for the Universal Champion, he’s pretty busy. Reigns will defend his title against Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel. There’s so much intrigue over Paul Heyman’s role during this feud. Should The Tribal Chief retain the Universal Title, he’ll face the WWE Champion Big E at Survivor Series.
Do mobsters choose a life of crime, or does the criminal lifestyle choose them? That philosophical debate is one of several lurking just beneath the surface of The Many Saints of Newark, David Chase and Alan Taylor’s narrative-feature prequel to The Sopranos the fills in gaps we didn’t know we needed about some beloved, brutal characters and beefs up motivations for a lot of the actions that played out in the award-winning HBO series. Though Many Saints mostly tells the tragic story of Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola), that history informs the development of young Anthony Soprano (Michael Gandolfini), the teenager who’ll grow up to become the infamous anti-hero we grow attached to in The Sopranos.
Chase ended his HBO series back in 2007 with the twenty-first episode of season six, titled “Made in America.” By this point, the final sequence is pop-culture famous, and open-ended denouement for Mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) as he ate dinner with his family, possibly meeting his end at the hands of a suspicious-looking gentleman in a Members Only jacket. As much as fans debated, Chase preferred not to publicly answer the question of whether Tony died in that restaurant, Holsten’s. He didn’t think the point of the scene, or of the show, was to answer the question. And he’s right. The Sopranos is much bigger than just that one sequence. But fans really wanted a definitive answer, and I believe he gives it in The Many Saints of Newark.
Tony Soprano died in the finale.
Here’s how David Chase tells us this. Holsten’s is a location used in The Many Saints of Newark, during a pivotal scene. Throughout the film, young Tony has been seeking a father figure. His own father, Johnny (Jon Bernthal), has been absentee, thanks to time served in the joint on multiple occasions. Tony instead finds solace and guidance from his Uncle Dick (Nivola), a made man with the power to recruit Tony into the life, or to steer him clear. It’s made known through The Many Saints that Tony’s much smarter than he lets on, and has an aptitude for leadership. He’s more interested in the stolen goods his Uncle Dickie procures, and the tough-guy posturing that keeps you alive on the streets of Newark, New Jersey.
Sensing that there’s more to Tony, however, and at the urging of the imprisoned Salvatore “Sally” Moltisanti, Dickie cuts Tony out of his life. He doesn’t take his calls. He ignores when Tony shows up outside the vending machine company, pounding on the door looking for some contact with his “adopted” father. DIckie actually sits at his desk inside the facility and weeps, knowing that Tony’s persistence is going to carry him into The Life, no matter how hard he tries to keep him clean. Dickie believes it when young Silvio Dante (John Magaro) says:
That’s the righteous path, the one that we know Tony Soprano’s not destined to walk down. Because we’ve seen The Sopranos, we know where this story eventually goes, but it still stings when an emotionally devastated Tony returns home to his bedroom and, overwhelmed by Dickie’s rejection, begins throwing out records and stereo equipment his uncle gave him as a gift. The fact that it lands at the feet of Johnny, Tony’s actual father, adds a layer of irony to Tony’s short-lived rejection of Dickie’s promise. When Tony screams:
He’s almost rejecting the reality of the criminal lifestyle that he knows comes with being a member of this family. In this moment, Tony Soprano is ALMOST out of The Life. But as Al Pacino once famously stated, in a movie that Tony probably watched too many times, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”
Dickie Moltisanti does just that. He pulls Tony back in, passing a message to the young kid through Silvio to meet him at Holsten’s, for a meeting that we assume will officially make him a “soldier” in the Moltisanti army. Only, Dickie never makes it. He’s assassinated, on order by Corrado John “Junior” Soprano (Corey Stoll), leaving Tony waiting by himself in Holsten’s for the father he desperately needs to show up.
This moment, to me, is the “birth” of Tony Soprano. If Anthony had any other option to walk down a straighter path, it disappeared the minute Dickie failed to arrive at Holsten’s for their meeting. As The Many Saints of Newark concludes, the entire family gathers at Dickie’s wake. And with Tony standing over the body of his mentor, Alabama 3’s classic theme song for The Sopranos begins to play. Young Anthony is now Tony Soprano. He’s not The Boss yet, but he’s fully on the journey that will lead him to the man we meet in The Sopranos.
And if Tony is “born” in Holsten’s on that day, then it only makes sense that David Chase was bringing his story full circle and staging that scene in the same spot where Tony dies. To me, this is Chase’s way of finally admitting, “Yes, I killed Tony Soprano off in that famous scene. It might not matter too much exactly HOW I did it. But he definitely died in Holsten’s, and didn’t enter witness protection, or rot in a prison cell.”
That’s my interpretation of the closing sequences of The Many Saints of Newark. To me, it also makes sense that David Chase would use this feature as the way to answer the lingering question about Tony’s fate. He wanted to keep it ambiguous. But fans pestered him for more than a decade, so he let them know. Do you agree?