Jesus abides! Jesus Quintana, I mean.
Following years of speculation and rumors, John Turturro’s long-proposed The Big Lebowski spin-off — centered around his scene-stealing supporting character, the aforementioned purple-loving, bowling-enthused sexual predator Jesus Quintana — is finally getting in front of cameras. According to Birth.Movies.Death., Turturro is already a couple weeks into production in New York — which the actor was making in secret, until now — and he’s joined by co-stars Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou and Susan Sarandon. Evidentially, Turturro is not fucking around.
Turturro’s spin-off is reportedly inspired by the 1974 comedy Les Valseuses, which translates to Going Places. It will focus on two petty thieves, Jesus and Petey (Cannavale), competing to give a woman her first orgasm after she’s robbed by the criminals. Sarandon will play another criminal whom just got out of prison after a long stint. It currently has no distributors. Of course, there are many other questions now left in its wake.
For one, did Turturro get any input from Joel and Ethan Coen, the original creators of the character? They’re not creatively involved, according to the original report, and they’ve been hesitant to give their wholehearted blessing, despite years of insistence on his part — although that either changed recently or Turturro decided to make a spin-off anyway. The actor said he wanted to make a spin-off this year if he got the filmmakers’ seal of approval, according to THR.
Second, what ever happened to the bus driver plot Turturro suggested a few years back? Is that worked into the film, or completely strapped? But most important of all, is Jesus still bowling these days? Surely the league has lost one of their greatest if Jesus decided his ball-licking days are done for good.
Details will likely emerge in the days to follow. With the cat now officially out of the bag, it’s likely Turturro will give some more insight in the near future. Even though The Big Lebowski is unquestionably one of my favorite films of all-time, not merely one of my favorite comedies, I’m as hesitant as I am excited.
It’s clearly a passion project, so it shouldn’t feel like Turturro is aping from one of his most beloved characters. But I wonder if his character can truly carry an entire film. We’ll just have to wait and see when Going Places (or whatever it’ll be called) comes to a theater near us.