David Chase Talks Tony's Fate & His Very Different Original 'Sopranos' Ending

In the long history of TV series finales, there are just a few that continue to be debated to this day. And in modern memory, you basically have the finale of “Lost” and the finale of “The Sopranos.” As for the latter, the debate seems to rage about what actually happened, as the show cuts to black without showing anything definitive. Well, over the years creator David Chase has hinted about what really went down after the cut to black, but in a new interview with THR, he confirms it.

For those that didn’t see the finale of “The Sopranos,” the series ends with the title family sitting at a diner for dinner while the song “Don’t Stop Believin’” plays. Then as you think someone is about to shoot Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), the show cuts to black. As mentioned, Chase has hinted that Tony actually is killed in the scene, but he has never really talked about it much, until now. 

READ MORE: David Chase Says He Was “Barely Talking” To James Gandolfini By The End Of ‘The Sopranos’ Run

But before he talked about how the world reacted to his finale, he told THR that he actually envisioned a completely different ending in mind originally.

“I had a scene in which Tony comes back from a meeting in New York in his car,” said Chase. “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.”

Things changed when Chase was driving and inspiration for the final scene hit him.

“But I think I had this notion — I was driving on Ocean Park Boulevard near the airport and I saw a little restaurant. It was kind of like a shack that served breakfast,” he explained. “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.”

LISTEN: David Chase Talks ‘Many Saints Of Newark,’ ‘Sopranos’ & The Secret To Good Gangster Films [Fourth Wall Podcast]

So, Tony Soprano did end up getting killed in a diner, but that wasn’t the reason everyone was upset over the finale. People seemed to be unhappy because they didn’t show Tony Soprano getting shot. And this is the part that “bothered” Chase.

“They wanted to know that Tony was killed. They wanted to see him go face-down in linguini, you know?” Chase said. “And I just thought, ‘God, you watched this guy for seven years and I know he’s a criminal. But don’t tell me you don’t love him in some way, don’t tell me you’re not on his side in some way. And now you want to see him killed? You want justice done? You’re a criminal after watching this shit for seven years.’ That bothered me, yeah.”

Now, with Chase talking about the ending in more detail and with the release of the prequel film, “The Many Saints of Newark,” it’ll be interesting to see if ‘Sopranos’ fans react differently to the finale upon a rewatch.