Actor John Turturro has been a major part of Joel and Ethan Coen’s unofficial repertory company since Miller’s Crossing, but is the friendship between Turturro and the Coens so solid that the brothers would let Turturro make his own movie with one of their characters? At the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily over the weekend, Turturro told a class that he’s ready to make an entire movie about Jesus Quintana, the heavily accented bowler that he played for maybe five minutes of the Coens’ 1998 cult comedy The Big Lebowski. All he needs is permission from Joel and Ethan; and if they consent, Turturro says he could make the film next year.
Indiewire has a little context for Turturro’s off-hand remark, in the form of old quotes from Turturro and Ethan Coen, which clarify that Turturro’s been pitching the brothers a Jesus spin-off for years, with a story he came up with himself. The Coens have seemed reluctant to do it themselves, or to let Turturro take the wheel, so this idea of Turturro’s could be more of a whim than a plan. On the other hand, the Coens allowed FX to make a TV show out of Fargo, which turned out to be excellent. (On the other other hand, does anyone really want to see a 100-minute movie about a pederast?)