In the wake of the tragic news breaking in the past 12 hours surrounding the death of James Gandolfini, HBO is already planning to do whatever they can to pay tribute to a man that really helped, along with the rest of “The Sopranos,” to put their entire scripted programming on the map. While there are surely going to be more announcements in the coming days (including marathons of the hit drama), what we can tell you is that for the upcoming episodes that are airing across the network’s various offshoots, there will be a title card specifically recognizing his contributions and paying tribute to his memory.
In case you missed a pair of notable statements from earlier in the day, here is “The Sopranos” creator David Chase speaking about James’ legacy, and his untimely passing:
“He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that… He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, ‘You don’t get it. You’re like Mozart.’ There would be silence at the other end of the phone. For [Gandolfini’s family] this is crushing. And it’s bad for the rest of the world. He wasn’t easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can’t explain and never will be able to explain.”
Meanwhile, here is what HBO had to say:
“We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. He was special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”
If you do want to read more on our take on Gandolfini’s life and legacy, check out our story from earlier in the day here.