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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Farrelly Brothers' 'Three Stooges': Back on track?

I have to admit that when I read Variety's new post about the casting for the Farrelly Brothers' lo-o-o-o-o-n-g awaited "Three Stooges" film, I checked the date to make sure it wasn't April Fool's Day.

SeanpennAccording to Variety, Sean Penn -- coming off his best actor Oscar win -- is set to play Larry; Jim Carrey is in negotiations to play Curly; and Benicio Del Toro is being considered to play Moe. In development, first at Columbia, then at Warner Bros., the project is now at MGM, which says that production will begin in early fall for a 2010 release.

The immediate reaction in Hollywood was, well, a big yawn. MGM keeps making big splashy announcements about upcoming projects, but it's hard to find anyone in town who believes that the studio has the money to make a credible number of movies. Most insiders suspect that this was yet another carefully crafted announcement story aimed at persuading Wall Street that MGM could somehow put together a slate of films with real movie stars.

The betting is that MGM is using Variety to tout the viability of the project, in the hopes that a studio with real money -- like 20th Century Fox, which already handles MGM's home video and international theatrical business and has a long relationship with the Farrellys -- will step in to provide most of the financing. As hokey as it seems, in Hollywood perception is reality, so these announcement stories help create the illusion that MGM is making movies, which could in turn attract more stars and more potential projects.

As for the casting, Penn has said for years that he'd like to star in what Variety would call a "laugher," having been in comedy jail ever since he costarred with Robert De Niro in the monumentally un-funny 1989 comedy "We're No Angels." If Carrey is actually in negotiations to play Curly (Variety says the actor has already made plans to gain 40 pounds to belly-up to Curly's ample girth), it would be a coup for the actor, who is currently off most studios' comedy A-lists, having fallen out of favor because of shaky box-office performances in recent years, which has led studio execs to believe that comedy audiences are more interested in Judd Apatow-style relationship comedies than Carrey-style high jinks. But in his defense, his recent movie "Yes Man" posted strong numbers both here and overseas.

I'm a big Farrelly Brothers fan, but I have to admit that the casting of Penn, Carrey and Del Toro has something of a musty feel to it. In their prime, the Stooges displayed a youthful, almost juvenile energy that might be better served by a younger ensemble of comics. I'm no casting expert, but for my money, isn't Jonah Hill born to play Curly? Couldn't Seth Rogen do a great Larry? And wouldn't Robert Downey Jr. make a great Moe?

If anyone has any better casting ideas (or if you think MGM has the right idea), let's hear it. In the meantime, here's the Stooges trying to retrieve cats from inside a piano:

Photo of Senn Penn by Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images

 
Comments () | Archives (22)

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What a waste,this will be the biggest bomb ever

MARY, Curly and Larry.

1. Jim Carrey has already done this part in about every comedy he's made: Liar, Dumb and Dumber.

2. Sean Pean: Comedy?

3. Benico Del Toro? Who's he?

So I'm going with Sarah Silverman, Paul Blart (Curley) and Joe Pesci.

This is the worst news I've heard all day.

Are you retarded? The Three Stooges is nothing that will ever be matched again. Remake movies are not only out of control, but they're trying to destroy everything I laughed at when I was a child. Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen? Get out of here, Judd Apatow sucks, Seth Rogen is a giant douche-bag, and The Three Stooges should be left alone. I'm not sure which is worse - the fact that people think Judd Apatow movies are funny, or the fact that people don't mind a Three Stooges remake. God damn.

In any case this would be a must see. It's baffling but intriguing!

It's the worst idea for a movie. IN fact, I hear that most of the scripts that Mary Parent bought so quickly out of the box are horrible, and she's spent what little they had in reserve to re-write all of them. And has anyone seen Ms. Parent? She looks like the MGM lion took a swipe at her. The Three Stooges? Please. So far she's made a low budget horror flick and FAME. She's a mess, and thankfully, that movie, with that weird cast will never see the light of screen.

The Mel Gibson-produced Three Stooges movie is about as good as it gets. Paul Ben Victor is the definitive Moe Howard and Michael Chiklis is the definitive Jerome Horwitz. (aka Curly Howard)
Yes, "Vic Mackey" made a great Curly, invoking humor and pathos.
The Farrelly Bros. should stay home and watch the original short films and realize they can't improve on perfection.

Penn is about as funny as a bucket of mud, well actually the bucket of mud is funnier. I wouldn't walk across the street to see him get hit by a car, but if they actually make this abomination, he'll get an oscar ( like they count) just because of his political agenda.

The original Three Stooges (Jerome, Larry, and Moses) were gifts from the Gods of Comedy. Even the TV movie about them was outstanding.

Please don't screw this up by being politically correct- Sean Penn is best known by Stooge fans for his work in Shanghai Surprise. It's bad enough we a clown in the White House, we don't need this chowderhead pretending to be funny. Sean Penn is not funny.

Anything Stooge should be lovingly crafted by the finest of comedy artisans- not some political hack with an axe to grind.

Carrey as Curly....I'm gonna mortify ya.....woop woop woop.....

 
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