Like a wealthy dowager who keeps hiring a trio of contractors, even though last time all they did was wreck everything, producers are coming back for another Three Stooges movie. The Wrap reports that the 2012 film’s production company C3 Entertainment has partnered with other rich people who want to gamble on nitwits over at Grand Peaks and The Exchange, hiring up-and-coming screenwriter Cameron Fay to craft another loose assemblage of scenarios for Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopolous, and Will Sasso’s Larry, Moe, and Curly to flop around in.
Though the first Three Stooges movie was a decade-plus-long labor of love for the Farrelly brothers, that love seems to have cooled, as they don’t appear to be involved. Rather than banking on the Farrellys’ reputation, the sequel is now pinning its hopes on luring an as-yet-unnamed “major action star” for the Stooges to annoy. The expectation is that Curly getting the shit kicked out of him by, say, Liam Neeson will be enough to reignite interest in this franchise based on a comedy act who enjoyed its peak popularity during the Great Depression, back when an impoverished country could still find solace in the simple pleasures of a man getting poked in the eye.
Of course, as we are a (relatively) wealthier nation now, other people’s hilarious pain is but a YouTube visit away, which may be why the previous Three Stooges film earned a mere $54.8 million at the box office on its $30 million budget—this despite cameos from the stars of Jersey Shore, a TV show that definitely existed at one point. Still: “The Three Stooges is an incredibly powerful brand,” says executive producer Brian O’Shea, answering all questions of why this is happening with the marketing equivalent of a head-slap.