Sean Penn is no longer a Stooge.
The actor has decided to take up to a year off, apparently to concentrate on his family, and has therefore withdrawn from the Farrelly Brothers’ Three Stooges movie, and the action thriller Cartel, the two projects he committed to following his Oscar win, earlier this year, for Milk.
Cartel would have been first up on Penn’s schedule. The movie would have seen the two-time Oscar winner play a dad who travels to Mexico to protect his son from the gangsters who killed his wife. Asper Leth will direct the Universal/Imagine movie, which is still on course for an autumn start date, with the studio currently preparing a list of actors who might replace Penn.
Which is the same thing that Peter and Bobby Farrelly are doing with the role of the third Stooge, Larry, for their revival of the classic comedy troupe. Penn’s commitment to a wild and crazy comedy, in which he would have starred alongside Jim Carrey (as Curly) and Benicio Del Toro (as Moe), always seemed out of character, but excitingly so. It’s a shame that we won’t get to see him taking any pratfalls.
Early word has it that the Farrellys’ shortlist includes such disparate names as Paul Giamatti, Simon Pegg, Zach Galifanakis, and even Larry David. All good choices, and needless to say I’ll keep you posted on the Farrellys’ final choice.