The Big Lebowski, the Coen Brothers’ freewheeling, chemically-mellow comedy/crime movie, has achieved a cult status that fixates some movie fans while utterly vexing others. However, nearly 21 years after the film’s March 1998 debut, its quotability and reference well remains as prevalent as ever in pop culture; something that a corporate benefactor and star Jeff Bridges plans to capitalize upon with a Super Bowl commercial. While the nature of said commercial led to loads of speculation, we now know the fact, disappointing as they may be to fans.
On January 24, a mystery commercial teased that The Dude is coming back in some form on February 3, specifically, the date of Super Bowl LIII, for which the advertising industry is preparing an annual blitzkrieg bonanza of exorbitantly-costing, exorbitantly-scheduled commercials; intricately-crafted ad rugs to tie their proverbial brand awareness rooms together.
However, in a move that seems counterproductive to the element of surprise, the ad has been released nearly a week in advance. The source for all the hype is now revealed to be a Big Game spot for the Anheuser-Busch-owned pilsner brand, Stella Artois. The ad starts with a moment that should excite fans of Sex and the City with the return of Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw in a fancy establishment, before showcasing a gate-crashing moment with Bridges’s The Dude, who surprisingly eschews his signature White Russian for a “Stella Art-toes,” followed by a compliment on his choice by Carrie.
While the spot provides a neat little universe-crossing moment, it essentially nullifies the notion of Jeff Bridges putting on his signature cardigan, pj pants and affable vodka-induced demeanor for a decades-in-the-making proper sequel movie in lieu of a A Christmas Story-esque, “be sure to drink your Ovaltine” swerve moment of a “crummy” commercial. It’s a concept akin to last year’s pre-Super-Bowl buildup teaser, which led people to believe it was promoting a trailer for a Crocodile Dundee reboot movie starring Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth; an event that was ultimately revealed to be a commercial promoting U.S. tourism in Australia.
However, that is not to say that we’re not getting a Big Lebowowski-related feature in the near future. As we learned back in October 2016, John Turturro’s standout character, Jesus Quintana, is getting his own spinoff movie, a comedic crime drama titled Going Places. Turturro, who is also directing the film, is joined in the primary cast by Bobby Cannavale and Audrey Tautou. While updates on that production have been relatively sparse since the news broke, the film is apparently eyeing a 2019 release.
Regardless, Jeff Bridges’s return as The Dude (in a Stella Artois commercial,) will be showcased on the biggest TV platform of the year, the Super Bowl, and Walter Sobchak did not watch his buddies die face down in the muck so that you can simply sleep on it!
As if it needed this humble plug, Super Bowl LIII airs on CBS on Sunday, February 3, with kickoff commencing at 3:30 EST.
This article, originally published on January 24, 2019, has been updated with new information.