Punch Drunks: Sean Penn to Play Larry Stooge?

Buried in the rear of the Milk DVD is a clip where Sean Penn‘s Harvey Milk dresses as a clown and canvasses a streetcar. No context is given for this bizarre behavior, but the deleted scene may give an indication of where Hollywood’s moodiest sonuvabitch is headed. Now Variety is reporting that Penn is going to play the immortal Larry Fine in the Farrelly Brothers’ Three Stooges.

No, you didn’t just imagine that. Feel free to read the first paragraph again.

There’s no doubt that Penn can do comedy–Exhibit A: Shanghai Surprise Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Is there any room for drama? Not exactly. Before Larry Fine joined the Stooges he was a fiddler. As Wikipedia notes, “in many of the Stooge shorts, Fine did more reacting than acting.” Stooge director Charles Lamont said, “Larry was a nut. He was the kind of guy who always said anything. He was a yapper.” He also loved gambling so much that when the plug was pulled on the Stooges shorts in 1957, the spendthrift Fine was left nearly penniless.

We’re in. Dammit, WE’RE IN. With Penn’s kudos attached to the film, the Farrellys may also be able to score the next two pieces of the puzzle. MGM are negotiating with Jim Carrey to play Curly and Benicio del Toro has been asked to play Moe.

No, you didn’t just imagine that. Feel free to read the last paragraph again. Yes, April Fool’s Day is about a week away.

Carrey is reportedly going to gain 40 pounds to play the nyuk-nyuk-nyuk half of the bunch, who many fans believed was indeed clinically insane. Variety prefer the term “seminal physical comedian.” The article also stresses that rather than telling the Stooges’ life story–which judging from what we now know of Larry might be a non-starter–the film will be “a comedy built around the antics of the three characters that Moe Howard, Larry Fine and [Curly] Howard played.” Cameras are set to roll in fall 2009, unless someone wakes up and realizes that this could well be the nuttiest movie since Gus Van Sant decided to remake Psycho shot-for-shot.

So we’ve got Harvey Milk, Andy Kaufman and Che Guevara. Anyone for Shemp?


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