If you’ve paid any attention to your local theater, especially during the summer months, you’re well aware of how Hollywood feels about sequels. It adores them. Any title they can slap a number on and any name recognition they can exploit is fair game. Given the state of the current landscape, it’s always nice to hear that some of our favorite titles won’t be sequelized, rebooted, or otherwise revisited. And there’s one we can add to that list as we’ll never see another Big Lebowski.
Hyping up their latest cinematic endeavor, the star-studded, movie studio-set romp Hail, Caesar!, the sibling directorial duo Joel and Ethan Coen put the brakes on any potential for The Big Lebowski 2 to happen. Addressing the desire of some for a sequel, and people like Tara Reid saying it is happening, with Variety, Joel Coen said:
In this case, I don’t think we’ll oblige.
They even cut off any hope of a spin-off based on John Turturro’s Jesus character, which the actor and frequent Coen collaborator talked about some time ago.
Though Joel and Ethan Coen have remade a couple of movies (The Ladykillers and True Grit), based a movie a classic Greek mythology (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), adapted movies from books (No Country For Old Men), and even had one of their movies spun of into a TV show (Fargo), they’ve never strayed into sequel territory.
Just because they haven’t yet, doesn’t mean that they’re entirely opposed to the idea. It just has to be the right idea. And they have one. And it just so happens that it also involves John Turturro. They’ve said that they intend on making a sequel to their 1991 black comedy Barton Fink, where the actor starred in the title role.
The story revolves around Barton Fink (Turturro), a New York City playwright who moves to Hollywood in 1941 to write scripts for a studio. As he struggles with writer’s block, Barton descends into a kind of hellish madness. The film features themes of fascism, slavery, religion, and more, and mixes elements from a number of genres, including horror, noir, and even buddy comedies. It really is a movie unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere.
The sequel, which they’ve referred to many times as Old Fink, will pick up in the 1960s and see Barton Fink move to Berkeley in the midst of the tumultuous decade. The Coens working on a movie set in the Bay Area in the time of the hippies sounds like a grand time to us. This won’t happen for some time, however, as they don’t want to use makeup and are waiting for John Turturro to age into the role.
To be honest, I’m curious to see if Old Fink ever happens, or if this is some kind of elaborate running joke. But for now I’m totally satisfied as long as they keep turning out movies like Hail, Caesar! and not making The Big Lebowski 2.