Jesus Quintana, John Turturro‘s character from The Big Lebowski, has been quietly readying for his return to the spotlight. Now, with a new look and a new title for his next big-screen romp, those plans are gaining ground.
Spawned from Jeff Bridges’ 1998 bowling classic, Turturro writes, directs, and stars in The Jesus Rolls, formerly titled Going Places, and it’s planned for an “early 2020 release” in theaters, Screen Media announced on Monday as it picked up the North American distribution rights.
“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,” Turturro said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Screen Media and bring our work and the character of the Jesus to American audiences.”
The Jesus Rolls, which started filming back in August 2016 in New York City, features Jesus, who appeared in The Big Lebowski opposite Bridges as The Dude and John Goodman as Walter Sobchak.
Also starring Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou, Jon Hamm, Susan Sarandon, and Pete Davidson, the film follows “a trio of misfits” with an “irreverent, sexually charged dynamic” that turns into a “surprising love story,” according to the official logline. “When they make enemies with a gun-toting hairdresser, their journey becomes one of constant escape from the law, from society and from the hairdresser, all while the bonds of their outsider family strengthen.”
Turturro once mentioned “a very complicated legal situation” as the reason why he couldn’t proceed with the film sooner. The Coen Brothers, who helmed The Big Lebowski, have always brushed off any talk of a sequel.
“John Turturro, who wants it, talks to us incessantly about doing a sequel about his [bowler] character Jesus,” Ethan Coen told Canada’s The Star in 2013. “He even has the story worked out, which he’s pitched to us a few times, but I can’t really remember it… No, I don’t see it in our future.”
Joel added, “I don’t think it’s going to happen… I just don’t like sequels.”
Turturro seemed to have found a workaround. Yes, it features Jesus, but the film is also inspired by French novel Les Valseuses and its 1974 film adaptation.
“It’s an honor to be working with John Turturro again,” Seth Needle, SVP of Worldwide Acquisitions at Screen Media, said. “His passion for storytelling and character building is unparalleled, so it goes without saying that people should be excited for the Jesus.”
The Jesus Rolls is produced by Robert Salerno, John Penotti, Fernando Sulichin, Sidney Kimmel, and Paul-Dominique Win Vacharasinthu. Executive producers include Max Arvelaiz, Lawrence Kopeikin, Michael Lewis, Bruce Toll, and Robert S. Wilson.