The Coen Brothers' The Big Lebowski is possibly the most popular cult classic known to man and is, without question, one of the best comedies ever made. Given how quotable The Big Lebowski is, and how revered it has become in cult circles, it's no wonder audiences want to see more stoner antics from The Dude (Jeff Bridges). That may never happen, but this desire applies to the actors in the movie as well.
For years, usually even without the Coen Brothers' blessing, some of the side characters from the movie's massive cast list tried and failed to set up their own The Big Lebowski spin-offs. Now, the curse on a potential Big Lebowski shared universe may have been lifted thanks to the power of Jesus.
Jesus Is Going Places
Of the many side characters in The Big Lebowski, one of the most memorable one-scene wonders was the Dude's bowling rival and convicted sex offender Jesus Quintana, played by John Turturro. Fans loved Jesus's over-the-top persona and near-fanatic devotion to bowling. So did Turturro, which led him to actively campaign for a spin-off movie that would follow Jesus' life before the events of The Big Lebowski.
Even without the official support of the Coens or their creative input, it seems that John Turturro is finally making his wish come true. It's been revealed that his next project, a remake of a French movie originally released in 1974, is in fact his long-awaited Jesus Quintana spin-off. The French comedy in question is Les Valseuses (Going Places), which follows the heartwarming story of a pair of thieves who compete with each other to give a woman her first orgasm.
The remake - and by extension, the Jesus Quintana spin-off - will reportedly follow the same plot, with John Turturro reprising his role as Jesus and playing one of the two main thieves. Joining him as his partner in crime is Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire), while Audrey Tautou (Amelie) takes the role of their female cohort and Susan Sarandon (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) will play an ex-convict who joins the gang's shenanigans.
The Dude's Shared Universe
As mentioned earlier, John Turturro is not the first cast member of The Big Lebowski who hoped to give their character an entire movie. Before him, Tara Reid wanted to have a movie centered on her role as Bunny Lebowski, the trophy wife of the "real" Big Lebowski. Even Jeff Bridges recently said he'd be more than happy to return as the Dude if someone cracks a good script, while also praising the idea behind the Jesus spin-off and voicing his desire to make a cameo in it.
I’m hoping they make a little Lebowski [sequel] because it’s all set up…I impregnated Maude. As The Stranger says, ‘There’s a little Lebowski on the way,’ you know?
Should the Jesus Quintana spin-off defy expectations and actually succeed, this may spell good fortune for the many proposed spin-offs connected to The Big Lebowski and its universe. The world of The Big Lebowski is a rich one, filled to the brim with crazy characters who all have their own backstories. While each one of them is sure to be a riot, they may not be enough material for an entire movie.
The upcoming Jesus Quintana spin-off movie is both exciting and slightly worrisome for fans who don't want The Big Lebowski's legacy to get tarnished by a bad spin-off, but given how much passion is driving the Jesus movie, we may be in for yet another cult comedy hit if everything goes according to plan. The Coen Brothers may not directly be involved with these upcoming spin-offs but they have shown signs of support for them, going as far to say that if Tara Reid does get her own Bunny Lebowski movie and/or The Big Lebowski sequel in theaters, they would definitely watch it.
Ethan Coen: I’m glad she’s working on it…we don’t [have a sequel in the works] but we’ll watch it when it comes out.
Joel Coen: Especially if Tara’s in it.