'Three Stooges' coming together at MGM
Wed Mar 25, 2009, 02:54 PM ET • Source: Hollywood Reporter
MGM and the Farrelly brothers are finally slapping together their high-profile cast for "The Three Stooges," a comedy project the filmmakers have been developing for years. Sean Penn is set to play Larry, and Jim Carrey is in negotiations to play Curly. Benicio del Toro is a rumored possibility for the brothers' taciturn leader, Moe.
The studio is looking to start production in the fall for a 2010 release slot.
The project was originally set up at Columbia, which produced the 1930s Stooges shorts. C3 Entertainment Inc., which holds the licensing rights to the Stooges brand, then sold the feature rights to Warner Bros. in 2001 for the Farrellys to write and produce the movie. Eventually, Warner Bros. let the rights lapse and MGM's Mary Parent scooped them up along with the Farrellys' continuing participation.
Peter and Bobby Farrelly wrote the script, which Bobby has referenced as "Dumb, Dumber & Dumbest," and will produce with Bradley Thomas and Charlie Wessler. Earl and Robert Benjamin of C3 will executive produce.
The film is not a biopic but a fictional treatment that maintains the Stooges' gleeful slap schtick updated for a modern milieu.
Originally constructed as four separate shorts, the feature screenplay has since been streamlined into a single narrative. Included in the story line is an opening that shows the Stooges as kids in an orphanage, a device that will require some "Benjamin Button"-style visual trickery to place the adult actors' heads on child actors' bodies.
The Stooges maintain remarkably global brand recognition, and their shorts, films and cartoons are still broadcast in 30 countries. The Farrelly brothers' latest comedy "The Heartbreak Kid" grossed $124 million worldwide.
Penn is repped by CAA, Carrey by CAA and the Miller Co.