John Turturro's The Big Lebowski spinoff has been retitled The Jesus Rolls and will reach theaters sometime in early 2020. Turturro, of course, costarred in the Coen Brothers' 1998 cult classic as Jesus Quintana, a foul-mouthed sex offender and bowling rival to The Dude (Jeff Bridges) and his closest friends. The actor has long wanted to do more with the character and eventually set to work on a Jesus spinoff film in 2016. Originally titled Going Places, the movie was described as a (very) loose remake of French filmmaker Bertrand Blier's raunchy 1974 cult comedy of the same name.
Then, just this past month, Turturro revealed that he's finished editing Going Places and has begun shopping the project around to potential distributors. Initially, it appeared that the movie was going to head to this year's fall festival circuit to try and appeal to buyers there. However, while it may yet find its way to the upcoming festivals in Toronto and Venice, the project has already been acquired ahead of then.
According to Deadline, Screen Media has picked up the North American rights to the movie, which is now going under the title The Jesus Rolls. The distributor further plans to release the film sometime early next year, though a firm date has yet to be announced. In a statement, Turturro said that “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", and added that he's looking forward to working alongside Screen Media.
Written, directed by, and starring Tuturro, The Jesus Rolls features Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man and the Wasp) and Audrey Tautou (Mood Indigo) as two of Jesus' fellow misfits in what's described as "a surprising love story" about the trio as they get in and out of trouble. The film's plot, which revolves around its leads making enemies with "a gun-toting hairdresser" and going on the run from the law (and yes, the hairdresser), sounds fittingly madcap and bizarre for an extension of The Big Lebowski. It also boasts a strong supporting cast that includes Jon Hamm (Good Omens), Susan Sarandon (Ray Donovan), and Saturday Night Live's Pete Davidson in as-yet unspecified roles... one of which may be said hairdresser.
While the Coen Brothers' weren't creatively involved in making The Jesus Rolls, they gave Turturro their blessing before he moved forward with the film. Based on everything that's been revealed so far, the project shouldn't really feel like a Coens movie either, and may hew closer to Turturro's previous directorial efforts in tone and style (Romance & Cigarettes, Fading Gigolo). That's probably a good thing, though, as nobody makes Coen Brothers films quite like they do. Moreover, it sounds like Turturro has something more ambitious in mind than simply tapping into people's enduring love for The Big Lebowski.