Paul Giamatti Joins 'The Three Stooges,' Jim Carrey Takes A Hike?

Paul GiamattiToday brings some potentially huge news regarding the continually complicated case of "The Three Stooges," the Farrelly Brothers-directed comedy based on the old timey funnyman trio. The already troubled production lost Sean Penn mere months ago, and while the role has seemingly been recast, it appears that another Stooge has left the building.

The Boston Globe reports that Paul Giamatti has landed the role of Larry in "The Three Stooges," filling the void left by Penn in June. But in true "one step forward, two steps backward" fashion, the article also reveals that Jim Carrey has fled the project, leaving the Farrellys with an entirely different Stooge to replace.

Carrey's departure and Giamatti's ascension shouldn't be considered locked-and-loaded deals just yet, but confirmation of this revolving door of casting news would hardly be surprising for a project that's struggled tremendously to get off the ground. What is surprising is Giamatti's interest in the role of Larry, given his previous comments about the project.

"['The Three Stooges'] were always so dark and grim," Giamatti told The Boston Herald mere months ago. "And Moe was this ancient man with a little boy's haircut. But Larry? I don't get Larry. He's strange. He's sort of the blank guy in the middle."

If the latest report pans out, then Giamatti has either filled in the blank or he's interested in the puzzle posed by Larry. But the major mystery at present revolves around Carrey's alleged exit from "The Three Stooges," leaving one to wonder who could replace him.

With only Benicio Del Toro remaining from the originally cast trio -- that's assuming the reports about Carrey's departure are accurate, of course -- the Farrelly Brothers' latest project is clearly experiencing a slapstick beat-down that even the Stooges themselves would appreciate.

Is Giamatti's enlistment enough to save "The Three Stooges," or is Carrey's reported departure too big an obstacle to overcome? Let us know your take in the comments section!