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Published on March 25th, 2009 | by Sharilyn Johnson

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The boys who cried "Stooges"

The Farrelly bros. are making their Three Stooges film! And they mean it this time!

Here’s the big casting news today, via Variety:

MGM and the Farrelly brothers are closing in on their cast for “The Three Stooges.” Studio has set Sean Penn to play Larry, and negotiations are underway with Jim Carrey to play Curly, with the actor already making plans to gain 40 pounds to approximate the physical dimensions of Jerome “Curly” Howard. The studio is zeroing in on Benicio Del Toro to play Moe.

I’ve found discussion of this project on Stooges fan forums as far back as early 2001.


Variety reported the following in 2003:

Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s revisiting of the Three Stooges films has been officially greenlit at Warner Bros. The Three Stooges is expected to start shooting early next year for a summer 2005 release.

April 2004 issue of The New Yorker:

In March, seventy years after the release of the first Three Stooges short, “Woman Haters”—the only one spoken in rhyming couplets—Peter and Bobby Farrelly met up in a hotel in the ski resort of Sun Valley, Idaho, to resume work on a script that they started two years ago and that some
people hope they never finish.

December 2005: Peter Farrelly tells IGN they’ll “shoot it in March and we want it out a year from now.”

Fall of 2006: it was reported that the brothers were no longer attached to the project due to the contract expiring, and the rights had been transferred to First Look Studios.

Fall of 2007: no, wait, Farrellys are back on board.

November 2008: the film as been greenlit! Again!

And now… well, is anyone still reading?

And does anyone think this project sounds at all appealing? If it were a biopic, I would be anxious to see it. The made for tv biopic produced by Mel Gibson several years back was fantastic, so imagine what a feature film budget could do. But 3 of the most recognizable actors in the world – only one of whom has significant comedy chops – portraying iconic comedy performers? I don’t see it. And if history is any indication, none of us will see it. Ever.


About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.



2 Responses to The boys who cried "Stooges"

  1. Tom Bickle says:

    To be fair, Michael Chiklis’s Curly and the whole television production were, as you put it: “fantastic,” and he’s certainly not known for his comedy. So, it’s not inconceivable that a feature film could be well-done, too.

    Still, Benicio Del Toro as Moe?? I hope they know what they’re allegedly doing…

  2. @Tom – You’re right, Michael Chiklis did make it work.

    Part of me thinks these casting rumors are just that: rumors. But all things considered, I can’t imagine this turning out well. If the script as any good, the studio wouldn’t have sat on it this long.

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