John Turturro Still Wants a Big Lebowski Jesus Spinoff
The Coen Brothers' off-beat comedy The Big Lebowski didn't exactly set the box office on fire when it debuted in 1998, earning just $17.4 million. It did, however, go on to become a cult classic, even spawning a yearly event in Louisville, Kentucky, with the 15th annual Lebowski festival taking place next week. Two years ago, star John Turturro teased that he'd like to make a spinoff happen, featuring his beloved character Jesus, although we haven't heard anything official about the project moving forward. The actor recently teased in a new interview that it still may actually happen, although there are some legal issues to be ironed out first.
The Hollywood Reporter recently caught up with John Turturro, who was promoting his new HBO miniseries The Night Of, where he teased that the project may happen. Directors Joel Coen and Ethan Coen wouldn't direct the spinoff, but they would be involved in some capacity to support the project. It's worth noting that the Coen's have previously said that there will never be a Big Lebowski sequel, so this spinoff may be the only chance to bring this character back on the big screen. Here's what the actor had to say below.
"It's a very complicated legal situation. Until things are all signed, you can't really talk about it. But we'll see. This would be something they (Coen Brothers) would support with me."
The actor added that his lawyer, who was in the room with him during the interview, was "yelling" at him to not discuss the spinoff. While John Turturro wouldn't offer details about the legal situation, it's possible that it may hinge on the now-defunct production house behind The Big Lebowski, Polygram. It isn't known if Grammercy Pictures, the studio that distributed The Big Lebowski, would be involved, but the actor revealed that he actually created the Jesus character himself, while teasing that he has been practicing his bowling skills as of late.
"That character was actually based on a play I had done many years before that, a Spanish play I did at the public theater. It's a character I invented. If you ever tell anything to Joel or Ethan, they basically steal it from you! I can tell you I've been bowling. I've been bowling a lot, and I'm getting better!"
In The Big Lebowski, Jesus Quintana was a bowling rival of The Dude (Jeff Bridges), Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) and Donny Kerabatsos (Steve Buscemi). Jesus' team meets The Dude's team in their bowling league semi-finals, where he often antagonizes The Dude and his crew. During one scene, Walter claims that Jesus is a "pederast," having served six months in Chino for exposing himself to an 8-year-old.
Since John Turturro is a respected filmmaker in his own right, having directed films such as Romance and Cigarettes and most recently Fading Gigolo, it's possible that the actor/filmmaker may in fact write and/or direct this Jesus spinoff himself. Even if that does happen, it seems that these legal troubles need to be cleared up for this project to move forward. We'll continue to keep you posted with more on this Big Lebowski spinoff