Screen Media has acquired North American rights The Jesus Rolls, the movie from John Turturro that returns his Big Lebowski character Jesus Quintana to the big screen more than 20 years later. Turturro wrote, directed and stars in the pic, which the indie distributor now plans to release in early 2020.
The movie — part Big Lebowski spinoff, part remake of Bertrand Blier’s 1974 pic Going Places (this film’s original name) — 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.
Bobby Cannavale and Audrey Tautou also star in the film, which features Jon Hamm, Susan Sarandon and SNL‘s Pete Davidson.
“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,” Turturro said in a release Monday announcing the deal. “I look forward to working with Screen Media and bring our work and the character of the Jesus to American audiences.”
Turturro played Jesus Quintana in the Coen brothers’ 1998 The Big Lebowski opposite Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi. He was only in a couple of scenes but stole them both as the foul-mouthed, purple-clad, sex-offender rival to the bowling team led by Bridges’ The Dude. The Coens were not involved in The Jesus Rolls, though they gave Turturro their blessing to further explore the character.
The new pic is produced by Robert Salerno, John Penotti, Fernando Sulichin, Sidney Kimmel and Paul-Dominique Win Vacharasinthu. Max Arvelaiz, Lawrence Kopeikin, Michael Lewis, Bruce Toll and Robert S. Wilson are executive producers.
Screen Media’s Seth Needle negotiated the deal with ICM Partners on behalf of the filmmakers. Cornerstone Films Limited is handling international sales.