How John Turturro Won Over the Coen Bros, Universal to Get ‘Big Lebowski’ Sequel Rights

IndieWire | 10/21/2019 | Staff
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John Turturro’s long-awaited “Big Lebowski” sequel “The Jesus Rolls” was finally unveiled at the Rome Film Festival this month, although U.S. audiences will have to wait until the movie’s 2020 theatrical release for a chance to see it. Turturro marked the occasion in a recent interview with Variety in which he revealed the two sources he had to win over in order to get the rights to his “Big Lebowski” character: the Coen Brothers and Universal Pictures. Joel and Ethan Coen, who created the Jesus character for the beloved 1998 cult crime comedy, were easily won over by Turturro’s pitch. It appears when it came to the Coen brothers, all Turturro had to do was ask.

“I showed it to Joel and Ethan, and they said, ‘Yeah, this is the right [way to go]. Just like when we did ‘The Big Lebowski,’ it needs to be its own thing,’” Turturro said of getting the Coen brothers’ permission to move forward on “The Jesus Rolls.” Turturro has long been vocal about getting the blessing of his “Big Lebowski” directors, telling The Independent earlier this year, “They’re my friends, close friends, and were supportive when I said I wanna explore this character more. They said, you gotta do it cause we’re not doing it!”

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