John Turturro is finally done editing and filming his Big Lewboski spinoff, Going Places. The actor played the eccentric bowling extraordinaire and pederast Jesus Quintana in the Coen Brothers' cult comedy, and has been itching to reprise the role pretty much ever since. He eventually got the Coens' blessing to do so in 2016, and set to work shortly after on a remake of French author/filmmaker Bertrand Blier's 1974 dramedy Going Places that doubles as a spinoff about Jesus and two fellow sexual degenerates.
With Turturro pulling triple duty as its writer, director, and star, Going Places promises to be a chip off The Big Lebowski's block as it follows "a trio of misfits whose irreverent, sexually charged dynamic evolves into a surprising love story", according to a previously-released synopsis. And in light of its predecessor having become a beloved cult film in the twenty-one years since it opened in theaters to middling reviews and lukewarm box office returns, it's little wonder Turturro has spent much of the last thirty-six months shooting and re-editing his spinoff to get it exactly the way he wants.
Speaking to The Independent recently, Turturro confirmed he's settled on a cut of Going Places that he likes, and described it as "a bit of a racy movie". That might be something of an understatement, considering Blier's original film was exceptionally controversial for its vulgar humor and sexual content, but it's also a pretty different world now than it was in the mid-70s. Turturro went on to add that "It shows how stupid men are. That’s what the movie is kinda about - the women are the stronger, more together characters".
Jesus' fellow misfits are played by Bobby Cannavale and Audrey Tautou in the film, which Tuturro told The Independent will explore how Jesus gets out of jail after he's framed for being a pedophile. This indicates Going Places will paint Jesus in a far more complicated light than Big Lebowski, where he was mostly an off-beat supporting character among a sea of equally ambiguous, strange, and potentially dangerous players in the film's occasionally surreal shaggy dog detective story. Turturro further described it as "a comedy but a very human comedy", so there might yet be more to this one than an ill-advised attempt to make a Coen Brothers project without the Coens (something that's traditionally gone poorly).
Cinephiles will get to find out for themselves this fall, when Turturro is expected to bring Going Places to some of the major film festivals in the hope of securing a distributor. If the enduring popularity of The Big Lebowski is anything to go by, there's a fair chance someone will ultimately pick it up for a theatrical release in 2020 (if not sooner).
Source: The Independent