‘The Many Saints of Newark’ Ending Explained: How ‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Sets Up a Sequel

brutal betrayal, a funeral—and a pledge of vengeance from the young Tony Soprano (played by Michael Gandolfini).

Just as you think the film (streaming now on HBO Max) is going to escalate into an all-out gang war between the DiMeo crime family and Harold McBrayer’s (Leslie Odom Jr.) new gang, however, it just ends. Not as abruptly as that famous smash cut to black at the end of The Sopranos, but still very suddenly.

Simply put, the movie ends with a massive sequel set up—and if you have followed the threads of the movie, you will know exactly what to expect from The Many Saints of Newark 2 if it arrives.

Here are the answers to all the questions raised by the ending—massive spoiler warnings for anyone who hasn’t watched the movie yet.

Why Did Junior Kill Dickie Moltisanti?

It seems it was pure spite that led to Dickie (Alessandro Nivola) being assassinated.

Earlier in the film, Dickie had laughed when Junior (Corey Stoll) fell on some church steps in the rain, injuring his back. As we saw when Junior was unable to have sex with his “goomah” due to the pain months later, Junior didn’t forget this slight against him.

Things were already frosty between Junior and Dickie. The former was still holding onto the resentment from when Johnny Boy (Jon Bernthal) called his brother a failure compared to the latter, who Johnny praised for staying strong for his family after his father Hollywood Dick (Ray Liotta) died. Of course, what Johnny didn’t know was that Dickie accidentally killed his father.

Killing someone because they laughed at you may seem a little extreme, but it’s business as usual for the character. This is the same Junior, after all, who tried to have Tony killed after mocking him for his oral sex prowess decades later.

What Did That Final ‘Pinky Promise’ Mean?

many saints of newark ending explained
Alessandro Nivola in “The Many Saints of Newark.” “The Sopranos” prequel ends with Dickie’s death.HBO MAX

The final shot of the movie, meanwhile, sees Tony imagining doing a pink promise with Dickie as he stands over his corpse at his funeral.

This of course calls back to an earlier scene, when Dickie and a younger Tony made a similar promise to each other. With Dickie dead, Tony feels obligated to get revenge, even if the two had become estranged after Dickie’s uncle (also Ray Liotta) had told Dickie to leave Tony alone.


However, the movie also hints that Tony is going to be heading after the wrong person for revenge. After the tat-for-tat killings started by Harold earlier in the film as he rose to power, Tony thinks that Harold is Dickie’s killer. Little does anyone know that it was actually his “Uncle June” that ordered the killing.

It seems unlikely that Tony ever finds out that Junior killed Dickie, which is a shame for him – after all, not only did Junior try to get him murdered decades later, but he is also the one who sends Tony to the hospital with a gunshot wound after he shoots him while suffering from dementia.

Junior, of course, makes it right to the end of The Sopranos, though by the end he has completely forgotten that he ever was part of the DiMeo family.

Will There Be a Sequel to The Many Saints of Newark?

While the movie seems to directly set up a sequel, one hasn’t been ordered yet.

Sopranos creator David Chase has expressed interest in doing a sequel if he could work again with frequent Sopranos writer Terence Winter. Asked what this sequel would be, Chase said: “Tony in his 20s. That would be interesting to do… How did these crooks [rise] in New Jersey, and what was Tony’s real ascending first step? I mean, obviously, he got made at some point. He obviously killed a guy at some point.”

Asked about this by Deadline, Winter added, “David and I have kicked around just how many stories there are that precede the TV series, and the idea of doing a sequel, if it comes to that, would be really great fun.”

The Many Saints of Newark is in theaters in the U.S. and on HBO Max from October 1.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: