Sean Penn Takes A Break, ‘The Three Stooges’ Is Down To Two

“The Three Stooges” are down to Two. Sean Penn has said “soitenly not” to the Farrelly Bros.’ “Stooges” revival, and walked away from the project, leaving Moe and Curly without their Larry. Quick, somebody call Shemp!

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Penn is dropping out of “Stooges,” as well as the thriller “Cartel.” The actor’s sudden change in plans is based on the need to spend more time with his family. Sources say that he may keep away from movie-making for as long as a year, though the two-time Oscar winner gave no set timetable. Penn and his wife Robin Wright Penn have been in and out of the tabloids for their marital woes. Who can really blame them for taking a little personal time?

Maybe the Farrelly Bros., who are facing a collapse of their “Stooges” remake. While Universal plans to move forward with “Cartel” and recast the leading role, “Stooges” has really been left in the lurch. The writer/director siblings have spent years trying to get their slap-happy film off the ground. They scored a big victory in landing Penn, Jim Carrey and Benicio Del Toro for the cast. “Stooges” was scheduled to begin shooting in August and MGM had set a release date of 2010.

Now the Farrellys need to decide whether they’ll recast the part or wait for Penn, a delay that could cost them the other two Stooges. There’s even a possibility that the entire film could be scrapped. That’s certainly what MTV’s Larry Carroll is hoping for. THR notes that “half of Hollywood would poke their eyes out for the part,” so maybe the casting fun, drama and violence is just beginning…

MTV readers, are you sorry to see Sean Penn take a break from the big screen? What do you think should happen to “The Three Stooges” remake? If it goes forward, who would you like to see replace Penn as Larry?