"Sopranos" creator signs deal for first film
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - David Chase, creator of the acclaimed TV mob drama "The Sopranos," has signed a deal with Paramount Pictures to write, produce and direct his first feature film, the studio said on Thursday.
Adhering to the kind of mystery surrounding some of Chase's past work, the studio offered no details of the project except to describe it as "an original drama," and a spokesman said the film was not an adaptation of "The Sopranos."
Chase, 52, has a long-standing relationship with Paramount Studios chairman Brad Grey, who was his producing partner on "The Sopranos" and occasionally played himself on the series.
The show, which ended a six-season run in June 2007 with its famously ambiguous blackout finale, earned Chase two Emmys as best drama series and two others for his writing on the show.
Centered on the fictional life of a conflicted New Jersey mob boss, played by James Gandolfini, the HBO series was regarded by many critics as the finest drama ever to air on U.S. television.
"David is one of the great storytellers of our time, and his debut as a filmmaker is both highly anticipated and long overdue," Grey said in a statement issued by the Viacom Inc-owned studio.
A spokesman said a time table for the film's production and release have not been set.
Chase's television career spans three decades and includes work on such series as "The Rockford Files," "I'll Fly Away," "Northern Exposure" and the made-for-TV movie "Off the Minnesota Strip."
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