While Sopranos fans may want to whack David Chase, the creator of the acclaimed gangster serial says he never intended to provoke them with its open-ended finale.
Speaking to the New Jersey Star-Ledger newspaper, the 61-year-old television writer-director-producer said "No one was trying to be audacious, honest to God. We did what we thought we had to do. No one was trying to blow people's minds or thinking, 'Wow, this'll (tick) them off."
After building tension for six seasons over 8-1/2 years, Chase ended The Sopranos in opaque fashion, having series centerpiece Tony Soprano eat dinner with his family in a nondescript restaurant. Various ominous-looking patrons pass his table before the screen suddenly goes black.
HBO, the Time Warner, Inc.-owned pay cable network which launched the series in 1999, reported a flood of viewer response - much of it negative.
Asked whether the ambiguous ending may signal a possible movie, Chase wasn't encouraging: "If something appeared that really made a good Sopranos movie and you could invest in it and everybody else wanted to do it, I would do it. But I think we've kind of said and done it."