Thirteen years after the Farrelly brothers first began making plans to bring the Three Stooges to the big screen, the project seemed finally to have escaped development hell: Sean Penn had signed on to play Larry, Jim Carrey was eyeing the role of Curly and Benicio del Toro was lined up to become Moe.
Then things began to fall apart. Penn dropped out amid rumors that marital woes had compelled the actor to take a break from Hollywood. And Carrey, who had been packing on the pounds to play the portly Curly, abandoned the film. Now Carrey has told MTV News exactly why he opted out and speculated that the film will never actually shift into production.
"I think it's dead," he said when asked if "The Three Stooges" would ever hit the big screen. He quickly added, "It's dead at least with me."
The reason for stepping away from the slapstick trio, the comedian explained, was a simple matter of feeling physically incapable of gaining the necessary weight. "For me, I don't really want to do anything halfway, and I don't feel like a fat suit does it," he said. "I started experimenting with it a little bit, and I gained 35, 40 pounds. I wanted to gain another 30, 40. When you're [Robert] De Niro in your 20s or early 30s, you can kind of come back from that. It's a tough thing to come back from when you're upwards of 30. Your body can't carry it or you can have a cardiac arrest."
And then, of course, there was the prospect of taking part in the physical comedy the role would entail, an experience he speculated might become reminiscent of an Oscar-winning film about torture in a Turkish prison.
"Put that with Sean Penn and Benicio Del Toro slapping me in the head all day long, and someone will lose an eye. It won't be good," he said. "It'll be like 'Midnight Express.' It'll be awful."
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