Johnny Knoxville in Talks to Play Moe in THE THREE STOOGES

     March 10, 2011

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Earlier this year, a rumor tagged Johnny Knoxville (Jackass) for the role of Moe in the upcoming Three Stooges reboot directed by the Farrelly Brothers.  Peter Farrelly was quick to respond that casting was still “wide open” to anybody, and later in the month suggested Benicio Del Toro was still the frontrunner to play Moe as the last remnant of the era when Del Toro, Jim Carrey, and Sean Penn were set to star.  More recently, Bobby Farrelly seemed to warm to the idea of Knoxville as Moe, saying, “Knoxville is a real-life stooge. He’s a real-life Moe.”  The new plan: turn Knoxville into a fictional-life Moe.

Official negotiations are not yet underway, but the Farrellys are reportedly “eager to cast” Knoxville as Moe Howard, and Knoxville is said to be interested in the role.  More about the project after the break:

According to Variety, the film will be broken into “three, 27-minute segments driven by physical comedy.”  Love the specificity of 27 minutes.  I’m intrigued by the note that The Three Stooges will be PG.  I assumed a PG-13 was the natural choice, but given the MPAAs tolerance for slapstick comedy, you’d have to add either sex or language to the original shorts for anything beyond PG.  And the fraternal directors have no intent do any such thing; they described their approach to the material thusly:the_three_stooges_image1

“This isn’t a Farrelly version of The Three Stooges. This is The Three Stooges. And, it’s not a biopic, by the way. We’ve written three new episodes. The movie is actually three episodes that go back to back to back. Each one picks up where the other one left off. We want you to look at it and say, ‘It’s Moe, Larry and Curly!,’ so we have very high standards on this route.”

Andy Samberg and Australian comedian Shane Meadows were mentioned in the initial Knoxville rumor, and Bobby Farrelly publicly declared he “always thought Samberg looks a little like he could play Larry.”  Does Knoxville’s involvement suggest Samberg and Meadows are up next?  In terms of supporting roles, Cher and Richard Jenkins have each been linked to the role of the nun who terrorizes the three as youngsters.  (They must be so tired of always going after the same parts.)

The Farrelly Brothers hope to get The Three Stooges in front of cameras sometime this spring.  The current goal is to lock down a Moe to set up the casting of Larry and Curly.

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