One of the biggest surprises during this year’s Super Bowl was the sound of the Alabama 3’s “Woke Up This Morning,” also known as the theme song to The Sopranos. As it turns out, the song was a deliberate callback to the show during an ad for Chevrolet, which featured Jamie-Lynn Sigler reprising her role as Meadow Soprano in an spot that also doubled as an almost-shot-for-shot remake of The Sopranos opening credits from 20 years ago. Then at the end of the ad, Robert Iler shows up as AJ Soprano.
The secret of making the spot look so much like the opening credits to The Sopranos, it turns out, was the fact that the ad was directed by Sopranos creator David Chase — who also brought back The Sopranos’ cinematographer, Phil Abraham, to shoot the commercial and recapture the look he created back when The Sopranos first debuted on HBO. Here’s the ad:
And for sake of comparison, here’s the original Sopranos opening, featuring the late James Gandolfini:
Gary Pascoe, the chief creative officer of the ad agency behind the spot, Commonwealth/McCann, told Variety that the surprising ending where Meadow and AJ meet was Chase’s idea because “he thought it added another element of intrigue, i.e. Who else is there? Why that restaurant? There’s a marina behind it, so what does that mean? He was really focused on the ending and getting it right.” We’re guessing it was also his idea to throw in that little gag about Meadow quickly parallel parking too — a callback to the very last episode of The Sopranos, where Meadow’s struggle to parallel park is part of the drama in the final scene, which continues to spark debate amongst Sopranos fans all these years later.