LODI, N.J. - “The Sopranos” may not be swimming with the fishes after all.
The manager of Satin Dolls, known to fans as the infamous Bada Bing, says Tony Soprano and his crew could be smoking cigars at their favorite gentleman’s club once again - to film a “Sopranos” movie.
Nick D’Urso, the manager, said renovations at “The Bing” were put on hold after the club received a phone call about plans for a feature film version of New Jersey’s favorite crime family. Unwilling to break his vow of omerta, D’Urso refused to say who contacted him, but he insists the information is legit.
“I got an inside tip that they’re going to do a movie, so I don’t want to make any major changes,” D’Urso said Wednesday. “I’m not going to reveal my sources, but we got a call from somebody (working) on the script.”
An HBO spokeswoman replied to D’Urso’s claims with a firm “no comment.”
With Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” playing in the background, the Emmy-winning series cut to black in June after 86 episodes and more than eight years filled with bloody murders, epic mob feuds, racy extramarital affairs and good old-fashioned family bonding.
After all the hype, the series finale was somewhat anticlimactic, as Tony, his wife, Carmela, and children, Meadow and A.J., sat at a diner table as a suspicious character in a “Members Only” jacket lurked at the counter.
In the last few moments, as fans’ hearts were ready to burst out of their chests, the screen went black and creator David Chase seemed to get the last laugh, leaving fans wondering whether Tony “caught one” at the diner.
Satin Dolls, which served as the filming location for the Bada Bing, consiglieri Silvio Dante’s strip club and Tony’s favorite hangout, had planned to finally renovate the building when “The Sopranos” wrapped up.
D’Urso said blueprints had already been drawn up for major changes to the building’s interior, but after getting the call, he’s not taking any chances.
“If we remodeled it, they could always spend the money to recreate it the way they want to, but why bother?” D’Urso said. “Even if it’s all for naught, I’d rather wait.
“We did some painting and refurbishing, but we certainly weren’t going to tear the place down and sell the building blocks.”
The club did cash in on a few “Sopranos” relics during the summer, when it sold two stripper poles on eBay.
“We didn’t make much money off it if you count the expense of tearing down the poles and shipping them, but it was fun and we left all the fingerprints intact,” D’Urso said.
The possibility of a “Sopranos” movie is no surprise to fan Sue Sadik - widely known as “Soprano Sue,” a self-made locations expert who befriended cast and crew members. Her Web site, sopranosue.com, is devoted to the show’s filming locations.
“As soon as the finale ended, I got a call from somebody on the crew who said, `We’re going to make a movie,’” she said, adding, “You can tell just by looking at the series finale.”
An extra in an episode, “The Ride,” Sadik also showed up in extreme temperatures to watch more than 100 tapings. She trekked in the snow for the famous “Pine Barrens” episode.
“I’m no fair-weather fan; I stood out there on the hottest day of the year and the coldest day of the year and I’ll be there when they film the movie,” said Sadik, who watched the series finale at Satin Dolls.
Calls to representatives for several of the show’s actors, including Lorraine Bracco, who played Tony’s psychiatrist, Dr. Melfi, and Dominic Chianese, who portrayed Uncle Junior, as well as Chase’s production company, were not returned.
A publicist for Edie Falco, who played Carmela Soprano, said she was unavailable for comment.
Whether a movie materializes or not, D’Urso said he’d play host to the “Sopranos” cast anytime.
“We had a good relationship with them; we respected all their wishes, and they were happy with us,” he said.
And after eight years with Tony, Paulie “Walnuts” and Silvio, Satin Dolls may be building its own cast of characters. D’Urso said the club has been approached several times by reality television producers.
“If the right show comes along our way, we might be interested.”
// Short Ends and Leader
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