Tony Soprano’s cutthroat character in HBO’s legendary series The Sopranos inspired season two of Yellowjackets, showrunners have claimed.
Yellowjackets tells the story of a team of talented female high-school soccer players who survive a plane crash deep in the Ontario wilderness. The series chronicles their descent from a complicated but thriving team to warring, cannibalistic clans, while also tracking the lives they have attempted to piece back together.
The series became Showtimes’ highest-viewed new series in six years, with over five million viewers weekly.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, creators of the show Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickelson discussed how normalising cannibalism, murder, and trauma is connected back to the Italian mob boss. “Tony Soprano is an absolute monster — but, because he’s so well drawn, you understand him. That’s what we’re aiming for.” Lyle told the publication.
He continued: “We have conversations about what could be too far, but it’s less about likeability for the characters and more about the type of story. We never want to be shocking and salacious for the sheer joy of it.”
Co-showrunner Jonathan Lisco taunted fans jokingly, during a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly, by adding that cannibalism is “the tip of the iceberg” of the soccer team’s numerous crimes.
“If we do our job right, the eating of a person will not be the most transgressive thing that these young women do in the wilderness,” he said.
Lisco added: “That’s just the tip of the iceberg. If season 1 was about our teen characters learning to adapt to their harsh surroundings, season 2 is where it all just really explodes. Each one of them is gonna make choices that they never dreamed possible.
“And, and as we cut forward 25 years, we’re gonna watch those terrible actions surface in ways that I would say irrevocably changed the fate of their lives.”
Meanwhile, actor Tawny Cypress also told Entertainment Weekly that the series will not cross moral grounds such as “eating a baby”, but it will most certainly cover “beheading dogs”.
In other news, Florence + The Machine has covered No Doubt‘s ‘Just A Girl’ for the trailer of the new season of Yellowjackets.
The cover of No Doubt’s 1995 hit was produced by Florence Welch and Mark Bowen of IDLES, and is now available on streaming platforms.
“I’m such a huge fan of Yellowjackets and this era of music, and this song especially had a huge impact on me growing up, so I was thrilled to be asked to interpret it in a ‘deeply unsettling’ way for the show,” said Welch. “We tried to really add some horror elements to this iconic song to fit the tone of the show. And as someone whose first musical love was pop punk and Gwen Stefani it was a dream job.”
Yellowjackets season two will premiere Friday, March 24. In a four-star review of the new season, NME wrote that “the second instalment of this acclaimed thriller series continues to prove that, even 25 years later, what happens in the wilderness definitely does not stay in the wilderness”.