OH! Someone spilled the gabagool on Tony Soprano’s 14-year long mysterious fate.
“The Many Saints of Newark” prequel film director Alan Taylor recently shared his thoughts on “The Sopranos‘” iconic, blackout ending — a stunning conclusion to James Gandolfini’s superb work as a mob don in therapy, an end which came over onion rings and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
“I have to go with Tony’s dead,” Taylor, who directed several “Sopranos” episodes, told the Hollywood Reporter of the hotly debated finale episode, “Made In America.”
In that inconclusive scene, Tony sits with his wife Carmela (Edie Falco, 58) and son A.J. (Robert Iler, 36) as he watches strangers enter into Holsten’s of Bloomfield, NJ just as the show goes off while the Soprano family is mid-conversation.
Throughout the years, the leading theory for Tony’s death has been that the mystery man seated at the counter of Holsten’s leaves the confectionery’s bathroom with a gun and puts one into Soprano’s head at point-blank range, hence the cut to nothing.
“There’s just too many signifiers [in the final season],” he added.
All too familiar with killing off beloved characters, Taylor directed the episodes in which Johnny Sack (Vincent Curatola, 68), Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli, 55), and Bobby Baccalieri (Steve Schirripa, 64) were all bumped off in that sixth and last season.
And it seems that model train-loving Bobby Bacala’s death in the penultimate episode, “Blue Comet,” holds the key to knowing Tony’s fate, according to the director.
“The biggest one for me is, I think in the entire history of ‘The Sopranos,’ there’s only one line of dialogue that has ever been played back a second time as voiceover, and that’s when Bobby Baccalieri says that you don’t hear the bullet [when you’re killed].”
That plot point was also touched on in Taylor’s Season 6 episode “Stage Five” when Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt, 70) goes into shellshock as Gerry Torciano (John Bianco) is shot point-blank at a dinner table — similar to Tony’s theoretical fate in Holsten’s.
“The scary thing was, I didn’t know what happened until after the shot was fired,” Dante says later on.
Other supporting evidence to Taylor’s claim is that the mystery man (Paolo Colandrea), who’s credited as “Man in Members Only Jacket,” is a likely callback to Season 6’s “Member’s Only” when Tony is shot by Junior Soprano (Dominic Chianese, 90).
If the Members Only guy did have a gun planted in the bathroom, it would also mirror Tony’s favorite scene in “The Godfather,” when Michael Corleone avenges his father’s attempted assassins.
Opposite to Taylor’s claims, Federico Castelluccio, 57, who brought the role of loyal soldier with luscious hair Furio Giunta to colorful life, told The Post he hasn’t stopped believing that the boss lives.
“Yeah, absolutely… Because you don’t hear a shot — you don’t hear anything,” Castelluccio said inside Brooklyn’s Anthony & Son Panini Shoppe as a “sangwheech” named for his character was being unveiled.
His argument comes from the shot continuity that creator and director David Chase used in the final scene, showing Tony’s point of view each time someone walked into the restaurant — the final one believed to be his daughter, Meadow Soprano (Jamie-Lynn Sigler, 40) who supposedly comes in off-screen.
“If it was Tony Soprano’s point of view onto his daughter walking in and then it goes to black, then you would think he got whacked,” he said, meaning that Meadow’s visual absence is the clue that Tony peacefully finished the best onion rings in Jersey.
“Remember the song? ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, so you’ve got to believe that they’re moving forward and living their life as normal,” Castelluccio said, putting forward the theory that Chase actually whacked the audience instead of Tony.
The creator — who has stayed very tight-lipped over the ending — recently revealed that “Don’t Stop Believin’” was actually chosen because the crew despised it.
“And I said, ‘Well, that’s it. That’s the one.’”
Taylor also told NME that Falco filmed a scene for the “Many Saints” intro, but it was later discarded in the film’s production.
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