What Was David Chase's Original Ending for 'The Sopranos'?

'The Sopranos'Credit: HBO
Don't stop believing. 

If there's one thing I can appreciate, it's that The Many Saints of Newark sparked a ton of talk about The Sopranos. I'm hoping it also sparks a few more movies and series.

Of course, you can't talk about The Sopranos without mentioning the ending of the show. Tony sits with his family while Meadow parallel parks. The jukebox plays "Don't Stop Believing." And as Tony looks up out the door—we smash to black. 

Well, show creator David Chase recently sat down with the Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter Podcast, where host Scott Feinberg inquired about the final moments of the series, asking if it had been planned. Or did it just happen? Chase offered that cutting to black wasn't what he had originally imagined. 

Chase said, "Because the scene I had in my mind was not that scene. Nor did I think of cutting to black. I had a scene in which Tony comes back from a meeting in New York in his car. At the beginning of every show, he came from New York into New Jersey, and the last scene could be him coming from New Jersey back into New York for a meeting at which he was going to be killed."

That's a drastically different scene than the one we got. He had a location in mind for the whack as well.

Chase said, "I think I had this notion—I was driving on Ocean Park Boulevard near the airport and I saw a little restaurant. It was kind of like a shack that served breakfast. And for some reason, I thought, 'Tony should get it in a place like that.' Why? I don’t know. That was, like, two years before."

That restaurant sounds great, and I think if Tony was going to die, that's where he would want it to happen. I like that Chase was malleable enough to change over the course of the show. It wasn't about where Tony died, but the unexpected mundanity of it. Tony was just a regular mobster, and this was a regular guy's ending. A quick cutaway from life, albeit probably really traumatic for his family. 

What's your gut feeling about the ending? Let us know in the comments.       

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1 Comment

Fantastic show, and a perfect ending.

November 22, 2021 at 12:05PM, Edited November 22, 12:05PM

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Fantastic show, and a perfect beginning! Stay tuned....

November 22, 2021 at 2:04PM

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Raymond Stanley
Screenwriter
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