As we've already reported, Sean Penn and Hollywood are breaking up. Or at least going through a trial separation. One of the consequences of this newly announced hiatus is Penn's departure from the Farrelly Brothers' "The Three Stooges," a film that's now in jeopardy thanks to the actor's sudden exit.
With the role of Larry now open, it'll be up to a last-minute replacement to save the film. So who in the movie business could possibly jump in at the eleventh hour to knock noses and poke eyeballs with Jim Carrey and Benicio Del Toro? It remains to be seen -- but I've certainly got my picks.
Matt Damon: Casting Sean Penn as Larry was certainly unexpected given the actor's Oscar cred. If the Farrelly Brothers wanted to pursue a similar avenue with the new Stooge, I'd recommend they consider Matt Damon. The talented actor has already proven himself in the comedy arena with both "Dogma" and even "Stuck On You," another Farrelly film. Plus, Damon's got the shnoz for Larry already -- he just needs the hair.
Javier Bardem: Speaking of hair, how about "Vicky/Christina" star Javier Bardem? With that wicked '80s mop in "No Country For Old Men" -- not to mention his Academy Award for that very role -- Bardem would satisfy the bizarre hairdo requirements, as well as the Oscar chops that Penn displayed. Could he pull off a comedy role, though? It'd certainly be interesting to see him try.
Will Arnett: Someone who has both the hair potential and comedy instincts necessary to revive Larry is "Arrested Development" funnyman Will Arnett. He certainly has the receding hairline, and as we "Arrested" fans are keenly aware, Arnett is hardly a stranger to physical comedy. The erstwhile Gob Bluth just might be the perfect choice to join the Stooges trio. He'd just have to do some work on that gravelly voice of his. Maybe some helium?
Martin Short: Jiminy Glick creator and "SCTV" vet Martin Short would also be an excellent choice to play Larry. Short is a master of comedic disguise, from his role as a mischievous 12-year-old in "Clifford" to his hilarious Glick persona. Granted, he's a little bit short for the part. But that's what they invented platforms for! If anyone could transform themselves into a famous comedic icon like Larry Fine, it would be Short.
Robert Downey Jr.: In the end, I'm hard-pressed to imagine an actor that could pull off this last minute switcheroo better than Robert Downey Jr. His Oscar-nominated turn in "Tropic Thunder" -- where he's "the dude playing the dude disguised as another dude" -- certainly proved his abilities as a comedic chameleon, not to mention his off-the-cuff riffs as Tony Stark in "Iron Man." The biggest problem would be the actor's busy schedule, but if RDJ could carve the time out, he very well could be our missing Stooge.
Who do you think should replace Penn in "The Three Stooges"? Give us your suggestions in the comments section!