Whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop-whoop! Time to perform a celebratory Curly Shuffle: The Farrelly Brothers’ Three Stooges project will indeed see the light of day after being pushed to the back-burner in light of MGM’s financial problems. As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has confirmed to EW it is indeed in talks with MGM to pass the movie on
the left hand side to their studio.
Only one problem: Though Sean Penn and Jim Carrey were previously attached to play Larry and Curly, respectively, both actors have dropped out while the film was gestating at MGM. (It’s not clear whether or not Benicio del Toro is still signed on to play Moe; the actor’s reps have yet to respond to EW’s calls for confirmation, while Fox confirms that casting has not yet been determined.) So that means it’s time to play Cast the Movie! Let’s put on our thinking bowl cuts now, PopWatchers: Who should play Larry, Curly, and Moe?
It’s a shame Penn & Co., are no longer attached: The best way to avoid cries of “Blasphemy!” from Stooge enthusiasts is to gather a cast that’s as surprising as it is talented (and Oscar-winning!). So as easy as it would be for me to round up the usual comedy suspects — Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Seth Rogen, Zach Galifianakis, etc. — I’m going to try to take a page from the great folks who cast Penn, Carrey, and del Toro, and go a little more unpredictable with this one. For Curly, I’d recruit one of TV’s great unsung heroes, H. Jon Benjamin, otherwise known as the man who provides hysterical voiceovers for Archer, Family Guy, and Dr. Katz. Let’s give him a big shot in front of the camera for once! Bonus: He’s (kinda) bald. As for Moe and Larry, Emmy-winning Hank Azaria has proven his comedy chops for years and boasts the right shade of black hair for the former, while Oscar winner Tom Hanks could use a break from symbol hunting to play the frizzy and frazzled Larry. (I need to be able to enjoy silly Hanks outside of just Conan appearances.)
I can’t, however, shake the desire to see the Farrelly brothers do something completely innovative with the franchise: Why not cast some female stooges? Surely, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, and Meryl Streep (because, why not?) would bring some laughs. That way, instead of watching women set back feminism 50 years by beating each other up on The Bad Girls Club, we could watch women beat each other up on the big screen for for the sake of forward-thinking! Or something like that. Or am I just a knucklehead?
Who gets your vote, PopWatchers?