John Turturro as Jesus in The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski‘s Iconic Bowler Returns to the Big Screen in The Jesus Rolls

Nobody f-cks with the Jesus.
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21 years after it first hit theaters, the Coen Brothers stoner comedy cult classic The Big Lebowski is getting the unlikeliest of sequels. John Turturro has written, directed, and stars in a spin-off film about his pervy bowler character Jesus Quintana in the upcoming The Jesus Rolls.

jesus victory dance gif

Though he only appears in two scenes, Turturro’s Jesus became a breakout cult character as the rival bowler who antagonizes the Dude (Jeff Bridges), Walter (John Goodman), and Donnie (Steve Buscemi). Turturro improvised many of the character’s signature idiosyncrasies, from his pinky nail to his hairnet to his licking of the bowling ball and his victory dance. Turturro took so much ownership of the character that while the Coen Brothers are not involved in the spin-off, they gave Turturro their blessing to take the character and run with it.

Formerly titled Going Places, the spin-off is somewhat of a remake of Bertrand Blier’s 1974 French film Les Valseuses. The Jesus Rolls follows “a trio of misfits whose irreverent, sexually charged dynamic evolves into a surprising love story as their spontaneous and flippant attitude towards the past or future backfires time and again, even as they inadvertently perform good deeds. 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.”

jesus ball cleaning gif

The film co-stars Bobby Cannavale (Homecoming), Audrey Tatou (Amelie), and features Susan Sarandon, Jon Hamm, and Pete Davidson. The movie was filmed back in 2016, but has only just found distribution with Screen Media. Turturro said of the film, “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. I look forward to working with Screen Media and bring our work and the character of the Jesus to American audiences.”

Turturro described the film in an interview with The Independent, saying “It’s a bit of a racy movie. It shows how stupid men are. That’s what the movie is kinda about – the women are the stronger, more together characters … It’s basically an exploration of Jesus getting out of jail. It’s a comedy but a very human comedy.”

Turturro, a veteran character actor, has long been the best part of all the films he’s been in. He’s also a talented director, as seen in his films Romance & Cigarettes, Passione, and Fading Gigolo. It will be interesting to see what he does with a solo Jesus Quintana movie, and whether or not he’ll be able to capture the singular bonkers magic that made The Big Lebowski so iconic.

john turturro as jesus in the big lebowski

(via Deadline, image: Working Title Films)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.