A spinoff from the Coen Brothers‘ 1998 noir-comedy classic The Big Lebowski following the continued exploits of Jesus Quintana, a.k.a. The Jesus, is, apparently, a very real thing that’s happening, as in not a prank. It’s titled The Jesus Rolls, John Turturro wrote the script and will direct as well as reprise the main role, and according to THR the film will hit North American theaters in early 2020 thanks to distributor Screen Media. Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou, Jon Hamm, Susan Sarandon, and Pete Davidson also reportedly round out the cast. It’s worth noting that Turturro has been trying to whip this film into shape since 2016 when set photos first surfaced, back when it was titled Going Places.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Written, directed by and starring Turturro, the film also stars Bobby Cannavale and Audrey Tautou and follows a trio of misfits whose irreverent, sexually charged dynamic evolves into a surprising love story. But when they make enemies with a gun-toting hairdresser, their journey becomes one of constant escape from the law.
This idea seems…baaaaad? Turturro’s the man, The Big Lebowski‘s an undisputed gem, but the main thing outside Jesus’ bowling ball-licking that the film establishes is that the character is a registered sex offender who exposed himself to an eight-year-old and had to go door-to-door telling neighbors about his record. (Cue Donny: “What’s a pederast, Walter?”) So, yeah, he’s a memorable side-character in that darkly zany Coens way, but not exactly the type of fella’ I need to keep following in the year of our Lord 2019 — especially that bit about the film becoming a “surprising love story”. But a statement from Turturro does seem to suggest they’re aware and taking things in a completely different direction.
“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,” the actor and filmmaker said. “I look forward to working with Screen Media and bring our work and the character of the Jesus to American audiences.”
I mean, there have been worse ideas. Remember when The Dude returned just to drink shitty beer with Carrie Bradshaw?