After “The Sopranos” went black, David Chase’s next move was never in question: He would make a movie.
In all Chase’s time toiling as a writer in television before “The Sopranos” — decades ranging from “The Rockford Files” to “Northern Exposure” — the big screen had beckoned.
After his first stab at writing a psychological thriller went begging, he turned to an idea of his since the ’80s, one he occasionally kicked around in the “Sopranos” writers room. “I love rock ‘n’ roll so much that I really wanted to make a movie about the music.” says Chase. “I didn’t want to do a biopic. If it was going to be a biopic, I wanted to do a biopic about nobodies — which is what it kind of is.”
“Not Fade Away,” which Paramount Pictures will open in limited release Friday, is Chase’s first project since “The Sopranos” remade American pop culture. A coming-of-age tale set amid the generational tumult of the ’60s, it’s the debut of the most promising 67-year-old filmmaker to come along in some time.
It bears Chase’s distinctive storytelling style: its swirl of family dynamics, pop culture and psychology. And New Jersey: The film, which stars James Gandolfini, is set in the suburbs of the state Chase grew up in and where “The Sopranos” made its home.