The Farrelly Bros.’ long-in-limbo big-screen update of The Three Stooges may actually be moving forward, now that MGM’s bankruptcy plan has forced the studio to give up on some of the projects it’s been hoarding in the squalor of its one-bedroom apartment, awaiting the day it finally “gets a bigger place.” Now Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox has swooped in and adopted the neglected film, wiping the crust from the corner of its mouth, buying it some new shoes, and giving it an actual March 14 start date.
Of course, The Three Stooges that will be is likely to be very different from The Three Stooges that coulda been: At the peak of its nearly 10-year development, Jim Carrey was to play Curly, Benicio Del Toro was to play Moe, and Sean Penn was to play Larry, a casting choice that still sounds unbelievable no matter how many times it’s been officially confirmed. Unfortunately, both Carrey and Penn have long since left the project behind—though Del Toro’s participation is still “unclear”—and now the Farrellys intend to cast a wide net to catch their Stooges, saying, “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 Flinstones. You've got to be Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard and that could be a major movie star or an unknown.” (Have they considered Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, and then CGI Bradley Cooper?)
So far all that’s known about the script is that it is not a biopic, but rather a comedy made in the style of the Stooges’ original shorts, with the film divided into three 27-minute segments using all three of the shorts’ signature theme songs. The story begins with Moe, Larry, and Curly being dumped as newborns at an orphanage, where they soon begin to terrorize the head nun—a part the Farrellys are hoping will be played by Richard Jenkins. If it’s still not clear that this film will be sufficiently wacky, Peter Farrelly says the film will be “more in the tone of Dumber And Dumber than anything else we’ve done,” and promises, “There will be non-stop slapping.” Although, the goal is to keep it PG, so that slapping will be mostly above the waist.