After having put the body to the five seasons of The Sopranos, early 2011 James gandolfini he had a good time off, something that Steve Carell knew little or nothing about, demanded as he had been since 2005 in the role of Michael Scott of The Office.
So, after an extensive search, NBCUniversal executives decided that with the memory of Tony Soprano more or less buried under the layers of the passage of time, Gandolfini was the best candidate to replace Carrell, and to refresh the atmosphere at Dunder Miffin Paper Company Inc.
So, emboldened with the success of the strip as a backup, there they went, to conquer the winner of a Golden Globe and three Emmy Awards as best actor in a drama series, with the proposal of a hot screen and a suitcase with a good wad – or rather a few – of bills.
The image of James Gandolfini as the fearsome Tony Soprano. Photo Craig Blankenhorn / HBO
However, no one ever saw Gandolfini appear for Dunder Miffin, nor his name in the credits of the strip, which on the other hand did incorporate a certain James Spader, to whom the inheritance received from followers and television space did not last much more than a year. On May 16, 2013, The Office had its last broadcast, and voila bye.
And Tony Soprano? Little has been known since then for what blessed or damn reason – who knows what would have happened to Gandolfini in that place – the man deprived himself of being part of a consummate success and gave way to the executives of NBCUniversal, who apparently they went home with the tickets without counting.
The kitchen of (dis) agreement
Until now, that Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa (Chris and Bobby in The Sopranos), they interviewed on their podcast Talking Sopranos to Ricky Gervais, neither more nor less than the creator of the British version of The Office. There Imperioli told Gervais that James was offered the position and that James would have had to turn it down despite being interested.
The Office, the series that launched Ricky Gervais to stardom and that Gandolfini gave up starring in.
“They spoke with Gandolfini to replace Steve. Did you know? ”Imperioli asked his English colleague.
And immediately, Schirripa completed the postcard of that moment: “I think that before James Spader arrived and after Carrell, Jim (Gandolfini) was offered $ 4 million for a one-season replacement, but HBO paid him $ 3 million not to. That is a fact”.
“Jim was going to do it because he hadn’t been working and it had been several years since the show had ended,” the co-host of Talking Sopranos.
James Gandolfini left his trademark on the character he played on The Sopranos. Photo AP Photo / HBO, Barry Wetcher
Gervais’s response was immediate. “So they paid you that to keep the legacy of The Sopranos pure?” He asked. And immediately he sentenced: “Well, that is A good decision”.
The truth is that by then, as the portal recalls Espinof, the actor and also producer was beginning to shape with Steven Zaillian and Richard Prize The Night Of, miniseries that he did not get to star in due to his death, which occurred on June 19, 2013 at the Hotel Boscolo Exedra, in Rome, at the age of 51, due to a heart attack.
The point is that HBO must have learned of the intentions of the producers of The Office and, according to Imperioli, the company pulled out the checkbook to prevent him from changing teams.
Michael Gandolfini will be a young Tony Soprano in the series’ prequel. Instagram photo Michael Gandolfini
Meanwhile, at the end of last June The First Trailer for The Many Saints of Newark was unveiled, the film that will function as a prequel to the mobster series and that will focus on the growth of the character of Tony Soprano. And the protagonist will be neither more nor less than James’ son, Michael Gandolfini.