That’s the delayed but still startling news from The Sopranos creator David Chase.*
Film and media critic Martha Nochimson caught Chase off-guard recently during a coffee shop conversation. Though the creator of the HBO TV series did not offer any details, he did confirm to her that the final episode’s infamous fade-to-black did not mean to suggest that Tony would go on to soon die. The writer’s immediate reaction:
Fine. Tony’s not dead. But what do we do with this bald fact? And isn’t Chase’s flat response exactly the point? The mere answer doesn’t really go anywhere unless we consider it as a part of the larger context of The Sopranos, and as a part of the much bigger story of Chase’s art…
When I asked Chase about the cut to black, he said that it is about Poe’s poem “A Dream Within a Dream.” “What more can I say?” he asks when I prod him to speak more, and I admire his silence. I am his audience too and he wants me to reach for his meaning.
If you’re a fan of The Sopranos, the series that taught Ray Donovan everything it knows about rough-guy patriarch family dynamics, be sure to read the rest of Nochimson’s fantastic musings here. We personally take comfort in the notion that Tony is still SUV-zooming down New Jersey freeways.
*Update (11:00 p.m.):
Not so fast. Chase’s publicist Leslee Dart has issued the following statement:
“A journalist for Vox misconstrued what David said in their interview. To simply quote David as saying,” Tony Soprano is not dead,” is inaccurate. There is a much larger context for that statement and as such, it is not true.”
“As David has said numerous times on the record, “Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point.” To continue to search for this answer is fruitless. The final scene of The Sopranos raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer.”