For fans holding out hope that the polarizing ending to the Sopranos series finale was simply the set-up to a big-screen outing for the first family of crime, creator David Chase has three words for you: Do stop believin'.
The series mastermind turned viewer punching bag has debunked the popular theory that the show's seemingly unresolved ending was meant to serve as a launching pad for an oft-rumored future film, claiming instead that the don's story—though not necessarily the don himself—was all but dead.
"I don't think about [a movie] much," Chase told the Newark Star-Ledger. "I never say never. An idea could pop into my head where I would go, 'Wow, that would make a great movie,' but I doubt it.
"I'm not being coy. If something appeared that really made a good Sopranos movie and you could invest in it and everybody else wanted to do it, I would do it. But I think we've kind of said it and done it."
And then there's the minor issue of Chase and cohorts killing off, in this season alone, many of the key players who would've been expected to appear in a film version of the show. But that hasn't stopped him from toying with a movie idea in the past.
One potential premise, he told the Star-Ledger, was "going back to a day in 2006 that you didn't see." Under that scenario, some of our favorite offed mobsters would still be kicking. But, as Chase observed, there would be some logistical issues. Tony's children, for instance, "would be older than they were [on the show] and you would know that Tony doesn't get killed" so there wouldn't be much suspense.
"It's got problems."
As for that instantly infamous and abrupt final scene, in which Tony Soprano waits at Bloomfield's ice cream parlor for his family to arrive one by one, all the while tension building as suspicious patrons enter and daughter Meadow struggles to parallel park, Chase could care less about "all the Monday morning quarterbacking."
While hundreds of viewers spent their Sunday nights alternately phoning their respective cable companies to complain about shoddy service and cursing Chase's name, the man himself—no fool, clearly—had long since fled the country, having set off for a vacation with his wife in France.
"I have no interest in explaining, defending, reinterpreting or adding to what is there," he told the newspaper of the series-ending, Journey-scored scene. "I hear some people were very angry and others were not, which is what I expected."
"No one was trying to be audacious, honest to God. We did what we thought we had to do. No one was trying to blow people's minds or thinking, 'Wow, this'll [tick] them off.'"
Not that he would change the ending in any way or opt to splice in another of the several final scenes that were filmed.
"People get the impression that you're trying to [mess] with them, and it's not true. You're trying to entertain them."
Which, aside from perhaps one overenthusiastic edit job, he did, for six seasons.
"It's been the greatest career experience of my life," Chase said. "There's nothing more in TV that I could say or would want to say."