Memory lane: New ‘Lebowski’ spinoff rolling on as National Bowling Day arrives

It's the second coming — sort of

No Dude, dudes. But here comes Jesus.

Fans of “The Big Lebowski” have waited over 20 years for a sequel. The bad news: they’re not getting one. The good news: John Turturro, who took scene-stealing to a new level as purple-clad bowler Jesus Quintana, will star in a spinoff called “The Jesus Rolls.” Film distributor Screen Media purchased the rights to the film last month and announced plans to release it next year. The movie won’t feature other “Lebowski” characters and the Coen brothers aren’t creatively involved.

So, do bowling-obsessed cinephiles have reason to cheer during Saturday’s National Bowling Day? Well, those hoping for a grand portrayal of their sport on the big screen may have to wait even longer. Like the original, this one’s not likely to focus on the game. In fact, bowling hasn’t thrown too many strikes at the box office over the years. It’s rather solitary, with players only competing against each other on paper. Not exactly what you would call a contact sport. Plus the action takes place in, well, bowling alleys.

“The Big Lebowski” certainly didn’t focus on bowling, but the sport cast a huge shadow over the film anyway.

While charming in their own way, alleys lack a sense of place exploited so well in great sports films like “Field of Dreams,” “Bull Durham” and “Hoosiers.” Finally, the action is finite; bowling doesn’t exactly scream out for the Quentin Tarantino/70mm treatment.

Even though “Lebowski” didn’t feature a lot of bowling action, the sport cast a huge shadow over the film anyway. Jeff Bridges’ character, Jeff Lebowski (The Dude), belonged to a bowling league along with John Goodman and Steve Buscemi. Their arch-rival? That would be Turturro’s flamboyant, foul-mouthed Jesus. He didn’t have much screen time, but his work in the film reached instantaneous cult status.

Fans of “The Big Lebowski” have waited over 20 years for a sequel. The bad news: they’re not getting one. The good news: John Turturro will star in a spinoff called “The Jesus Rolls.”

Turturro, who wrote and directed the new film, stars alongside actors Bobby Cannavale and Audrey Tautou. The film also features Pete Davidson, Jon Hamm and Susan Sarandon. Like “Lebowski,” this movie figures to be adult-oriented and somewhat peripherally related to bowling.

‘Lebowski” star Jeff Bridges thrills fans at Lebowski Fest.

“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 the mystery of women,” says Turturro. “I look forward to working with Screen Media and bringing the character of the Jesus to American audiences.”

The end result? Not sure about bowlers, but “Lebowski” fans likely can’t wait.

Am I wrong?