Penn, Del Toro & Carrey Are The Stooges

For the new Farrelly Bros. comedy

Well, it’s official. After a casting process so long and involved that we heard the BBC were in talks to turn it into a 10-part series with Graham Norton hosting, the Farrelly Brothers have finally, finally, finally found their Three Stooges: Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro.

Let’s put it another way: Jim Carrey, two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn, and Oscar winner, Benicio Del Toro will be playing, respectively, Curly, Larry and Moe in the Farrellys’ revamp of the much-loved Stooges franchise.

Wow. Just… wow. That was not what we were expecting. But we have to say, paraphrasing Danny DeVito in another Carrey flick, Man On The Moon, that the casting choices may be insane… but they might also be brilliant.

Consider the evidence: Carrey, of course, has worked with Peter and Bobby Farrelly before, on their wonderful debut, Dumb & Dumber, and the much-maligned, although often hilarious, Me, Myself & Irene. The trio know each other’s styles inside out, back to front, up and down, and any which way but loose. At his best, Carrey’s comedy has an anarchic, dangerous edge to it, just perfect for the Stooges and their brand of angry slapstick.

Carrey will apparently gain 40 pounds for the role (in real life, Curly Howard – who didn’t actually have curly hair; that was Larry – suffered a stroke in 1946 as a result of his unhealthy lifestyle), in an act of De Niro-esque commitment. Impressive.

Penn, who has already worn Larry's hairstyle once before, when he rocked a perm as Dave Klein in Carlito’s Way, may have gained a reputation as something of a sourpuss who only shows up in worthy projects or wrist-slitting dramas, but he started his career with a brilliant, iconic comedic turn as Spicoli in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. And, since his second Oscar win for Milk back in February, he’s shown signs that he wants to lighten his image. This is definitely a step in the right direction.

As for Del Toro, who will play the bowl-haired Moe, he can be a riot in the right role, be it Fenster in The Usual Suspects, Jackie Boy in Sin City, or Frankie Four Fingers in Snatch. We can’t wait to see the chemistry that the much-vaunted (and, surely, pretty damned expensive) trio will conjure up. We’re guessing that, after over a decade spent on trying to make this movie, the Farrellys are pretty keen on finding out as well.

The Farrellys wrote the script for the movie, which will be an original Stooges adventure, and not a biopic, as some had suggested. It’ll be interesting to see how they reinterpret the Stooges’ antics for a modern audience and, indeed, how they flesh out the movie (most of the Stooges’ screen adventures were short films).

MGM is the studio behind the project, which will begin filming later in the autumn, ready for a release sometime in 2010.