I don’t know what’s more surprising: that John Turturro is writing and directing a Big Lebowski spin-off film about his character, Jesus Quintana, or the fact that the Coen Brothers signed off on it and gave their blessings. The whole situation is just odd as hell and has been since it was announced ages ago.
And now that we know more about the film, including its plot, it sounds even odder. This movie is going to be…something. I’d expect no less from Mr. Turturro and a Coen Brothers character.
Deadline has reported that Turturro‘s film, now titled The Jesus Rolls, has been picked up by Screen Media and will be released in early 2020. Also mentioned in the piece is the storyline for the movie. It feels rich, silly and like something that is decidedly unique.
A gun-toting hairdresser. A trio of misfits with a sexually-charged dynamic. Escape from the law. While this all sounds completely different from any other movies on the horizon, it feels right at home in a universe created by the Coen Brothers. It seems that Turturro is following the tradition of his frequent collaborators and creating a comedy that has personality, character and a bizarre but fully-realized point of view. I’m not expecting a knee-slapper of a comedy but I’m expecting something special, that’s for sure.
Turturro summarized the movie this way: “It feels like a good time to release a transgressive film about the stupidity of men who try and fail and try better to understand and penetrate the mystery of women.” Those are the words of a filmmaker with something to say.
It’s exciting to see The Jesus Rolls come into focus. I’d be onboard if we were getting just a regular sequel to The Big Lebowski (but is anything regular with the Coens?) but Turturro‘s upcoming film feels like something that is more organic and necessary than additional adventures with Jeff Bridges’s Lebowski character. It’s an expansion of the cinematic universe that will stay true to vibe of its predecessor. If anyone is able to make a spin-off to a Coen Brothers movie, it’s John Turturro.