Three Stooges Co-Director Peter Farrelly Fears ‘Domino Effect’ Following Sean Penn Drop-out

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Farrelly: "What, me worry?" Photo: Getty Images

The Farrelly brothers were having a hard enough time convincing people to care about their Three Stooges remake, but the situation got a lot tougher last week when Sean Penn abruptly dropped out of the production to spend more time with his family. That leaves Benicio del Toro as Moe, Jim Carrey as Curly, and a gaping hole for Larry that needs to be filled, pronto. During a roundtable discussion this weekend with Harold Ramis, Ben Stiller, and John Hamburg, co-director Peter Farrelly voiced his concerns about the project, which he and his brother have been developing for a decade. "I'm fearing a domino effect now," he said, but tried to give Penn some leeway. "He wants to devote a year of his life to family," Farrelly said. "You can't fault the guy for that, my God." Ramis, sitting a few feet away, corrected him. "You can fault him for that," he said.

Farrelly also elaborated on the unique angle of the movie, which the brothers did not envision as a biopic. "It will be three half-hour episodes rolled into an hour-and-a-half movie," he said. "Each part picks up where the other one left off. They look the same, talk the same, and act the same, but it takes place in the present, and we wrote new material." No word on whether any eye-poking made it into the final draft.