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Peter and Bobby Farrelly's planned Three Stooges movie has been talked about on and off at least since 2006, with big names like Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Jim Carrey, Benicio del Toro and Paul Giamatti all discussed to star as the iconic brothers at one point or another. The project suffered a series of delays and a revolving door of actors, partly due to studio MGM's total financial meltdown, but the project is moving forward again and looks likely to happen this time for one simple reason: It's moving to Fox.
Talking to Deadline, Peter Farrelly explained that they have a script ready to go and are about to start casting, with none of the original starry names (save possibly del Toro) on board at this point. "Our feeling is that no star is too big to audition and no matter who it is, we're going to have to see him in the role. This is not The Flintstones. You've got to be Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard, and that could be a major movie star or an unknown."
Fox has set a March 14 start date for the film, which will probably shoot in Atlanta and will be based on the original shorts the Stooges made for Columbia Pictures. The film will start with the trio landing on the doorstep of an orphanage as infants (an orphanage possibly led by Richard Jenkins, if the casting works out), then follows them into adulthood as they slap, kick and generally beat each other up as comedy gold. Farrelly is promising a level of slapstick that would make the original Stooges proud: "There will be non-stop slapping, more in the tone of Dumb and Dumber than anything else we've done."
I had been kind of content to assume the Three Stooges movie was never actually going to happen, but between this and Spielberg's Lincoln actually getting off the ground, 'tis apparently the season for passion projects getting one final breath of life. Start your fantasy casting for Larry, Moe and Curly in the comments, though I"m personally rooting for them to pick utter unknowns with a grip on slapstick than go for big names. Aren't the Stooges a big enough name to sell a movie all their own?
For a more in-depth look at the Three Stooges movie check out our review of the script right here.