Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hollywood is One Big Stooge

Hollywood is One Big Stooge

I caught wind about this train wreck of a project some months back that they were actually going to try to do a Three Stooges film. Not as a biopic but as a comedy.
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.

The film is not a biopic, but rather a comedy built around the antics of the three characters that Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Howard played in the Columbia Pictures shorts.

The quest by the Peter and Bobby Farrelly to harness the project spans more than a decade and three studios. They first tried at Columbia, again at Warner Bros., and finally at MGM, where Worldwide Motion Picture Group chairman Mary Parent championed the cause and bought the WB-owned scripts and made a deal with Stooges rights holders C3.

Production will begin in early fall for a release sometime in 2010. The Farrellys, who wrote the script, are producing with their Conundrum partner Bradley Thomas, and Charlie Wessler.

C3 Entertainment principals Earl and Robert Benjamin will be executive producers.

Project will get underway after Penn completes the Asger Leth-directed Universal/Imagine Entertainment drama "Cartel." He hasn't done a comedy since the 1989 laffer "We're No Angels."

The Farrellys have long had their eyes on Del Toro to play Moe. Del Toro, who's coming off "Che," showed comic chops in the Guy Ritchie-directed "Snatch."

The surprise is the emergence of Carrey to play Curly. Howard established the character as a seminal physical comedian, from the first time he appeared in the first Stooges short in 1934 until he suffered a stroke on the set in 1946.
Yes, that's right. You read it correctly. And for those who don't actually read the news piece I post, Sean Penn is pinned to play Larry, Benecio Del Toro would play Moe and Jim Carrey would play Curly. What the hell?

I did not expect to see Che Guevara, Andy Kaufman, and Harvey Milk end up playing the Three Stooges. Then again, I've seen Gandhi piss into a bucket and have it used as a weapon so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Have the Farrelly Brothers had a good movie since Something About Mary? I love the Farrellys but how on earth did they get the clout to get this cast of Oscar winners and nominees to appear as the headlining trio in a pretty silly premised slapstick comedy? Their last projects have all pretty much been duds. This seems like a really odd choice.

I also don't understand going the pure comedy route rather than biopic. Frankly the physical antics of the stooges are pretty tired to me at this point. I feel like comedy has just evolved beyond eye-poking and pies to the face as the height of hilarity. I would've thought introducing the biographic element would allow a lot more depth into the story while still letting the filmmakers show the funny side of the actors.

A bit of positive news hit about this recently. It seems that Sean Penn is out of this.

LOS ANGELES – Sean Penn will not be one of "The Three Stooges" or join "Cartel."

A spokeswoman for the Oscar winner said he is dropping out of the films. Penn spokeswoman Mara Buxbaum did not specify a reason, but said if the start dates on the productions were to be postponed, Penn would remain involved.

Penn was slated to star as Larry in "Three Stooges" and as a man protecting his son in "Cartel."

So that's good, though like a hydra, when one head is removed, two more will take its place. Who knows what sort of worse situation we will get than spicoli being a stooge. Maybe Penn was the lesser of two evils in all this. And maybe the project will never get off the ground. One can hope.

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