The “cut to black” mystery in the final scene in “The Sopranos” has finally been solved.
David Chase, the writer, director and producer of the HBO crime series, told The Hollywood Reporter that Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, does indeed die in the final episode of the Emmy Award-winning show, which ran on cable from 1999 to 2007.
The episode, which aired on June 10, 2007, shows Tony Soprano and his family eating at Holsten’s restaurant, Esquire reported. With Journey’s song “Don’t Stop Believin’” blaring in the background, Soprano looks up — and the scene cuts to black. End of show. End of series.
But the beginning of a mystery.
“I had no idea it would cause that much … of an uproar,” Chase told The Hollywood Reporter. “What was annoying was how many people wanted to see Tony killed. They wanted to see him go face-down in linguini, you know? That bothered me.”
Chase, 76, a seven-time Emmy Award-winning writer who co-wrote “The Sopranos” prequel, “The Many Saints of Newark” with Lawrence Konner, said he always envisioned killing off the main character. However, it did not go the way he originally planned it, WNBC reported.
“Because the scene I had in my mind was not that scene. Nor did I think of cutting to black,” Chase told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.
“I think I had this notion — I was driving on Ocean Park Boulevard near the airport and I saw a little restaurant,” Chase added. “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.”
Gandolfini died in June 2013.
You can listen to Chase’s full interview with The Hollywood Reporter here.
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