Sources close to John Turturro’s Going Places have confirmed some weird and exciting news for us: the film, a remake of a French sex farce, is actually a Big Lebowski spin-off centered around Turturro's Jesus Quintana character.
Not only that, but the project has already begun filming with a script by Turturro and a cast that includes Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou and Susan Sarandon.
The film, which currently has no distributor (thus making it an indie in the realest sense), takes its plot from the 1974 comedy Les Valseuses: two petty thieves, Turturro’s Jesus and Cannavale’s Petey, compete to give a woman (Tautou) her first orgasm after she’s roped into their hijinks. Sarandon also ends up in their company, playing a criminal who just got out after a long stint in prison.
I’m told Going Places is a week or two into production out in New York State. What brought The Jesus out east, I wonder? Does he still bowl? What has he been up to since 1990? Your guess is as good as mine, but here's what I know for sure: his off-beat hair choices and proclivity for purple both remain firmly intact. That’s really all that matters here.
Joel & Ethan Coen aren’t creatively involved, apparently, and while one might not expect them to sign off on a sequel, keep in mind that Turturro's work with them dates all the way back to Miller’s Crossing in 1990. They even poured money into Romance & Cigarettes, Turturro’s 2005 musical featuring Cannavale and Sarandon, so it’s not hard to believe they’d give him their blessings. Turturro has been talking about reprising the role for quite some time, and a French sex comedy re-structured around Quintana is one hell of an angle. The original was, as I understand it, incredibly sexist even for 1974 (Roger Ebert called it “the most misogynistic movie [he could] remember”), so I’m curious to see how they combine that with The Jesus’ absurd brand of machismo.
Nostalgia is the new Hollywood A-lister, isn't it? It seems like the only sure thing in a sea of new media, and it’s led to the mining of every beloved property by a handful of studios. Second only is the trend of foreign film adaptations, churned out with no care for context. A combination of the two might seem like nightmare fuel to any self-professed cinephile, but it's a horse of a different colour when you're talking about a non-studio passion project. Case in point: Coen darling Turturro using this remake as a comeback tour for The Jesus.
Anyway, we’ll keep you updated as we learn more.