Johnny Knoxville, Andy Samberg, and Shane Jacobson on the Shortlist to Play THE THREE STOOGES

     January 6, 2011

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Johnny Knoxville, star of the recent prankster hit Jackass 3D, is on the shortlist to play Moe in 20th Century Fox’s The Three Stooges. Rounding out the rest of the slapstick trio are Andy Samberg of SNL fame and Australian comic Shane Jacobson as Larry and Curly, respectively. Though nothing is confirmed,  a source indicates that discussions have taken place with reps for each actor.

The Farrelly brothers are still on board to direct from a script they wrote alongside Mike Cerrone, but with filming scheduled to shoot in March, the principal cast needs to be finalized. Past rumored actors for The Three Stooges included names like Sean Penn, Paul Giamatti and Benicio del Toro. It seems the comedic roles are now being filled by…comedians. Go figure.  Hit the jump for more details.

andy-samberg-imageKnoxville, arguably the most recognizable name of the three, is a solid box office draw. The record-setting Jackass 3D is the franchise Knoxville is most associated with, but he has worked with the Farrelly brothers before on The Ringer. Knoxville was even seen portraying Moe in a recent Vanity Fair photo shoot. As someone very familiar with doling out physical comedy (though usually upon himself), it’s easy to see why Knoxville will play Moe, the leader of the Stooges. And really, the transition from Jackass to Stooge can’t be that much of a stretch.

According to The Wrap, Samberg will be playing the bushy-haired, whiny violin player, Larry Fine. Samberg is best known for his performances on SNL and through The Lonely Island, his Grammy-nominated comedy group. He also plays well on the big screen, having memorable scenes in I Love You, Man and roles in the upcoming Friends With Benefits and What’s Your Number?. His comedic chops aside, the real reason Samberg is playing Larry is, let’s face it: the hair.

Jacobson is not exactly a household name in America, but he did win the Australian Film Institute’s “Best Actor in a Leading Role” award for his performance in Kenny. The film is a mockumentary which revolves around the titular character, Kenny (Jacobson), an eternally optimistic plumber who always rises above the criticisms of others. Think Kevin James or the late Chris Farley. Jacobson has the comedy background and the look to do justice to the role of Curly. I just hope he can take the punishment.

Check back with Collider for future The Three Stooges updates and find out if Shemp or Curly Joe will ever make an appearance.

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