The plight of "The Three Stooges" has been a long one. Thirteen years long, according to Pete and Bobby Farrelly, who are inching closer and closer to an actual start date for production on the film. First, three heavyweight actors were cast, then they all dropped out. Then three other less-heavyweight, but comedically-qualified types were rumored to have signed on. But have they really?
MTV News recently caught up with the brothers Farrelly during the press day for their upcoming comedy "Hall Pass," and I asked them to address the rumors -- specifically, if Johnny Knoxville, Andy Samberg and Aussie comedian Shane Jacobson were a 'go' to play the Stooges.
"No, there’s been a lot of casting speculation on 'The Three Stooges," Bobby said. "All I can say is that we are going to make the movie, we’re going to make it this spring. We have not finalized casting yet."
"We’re in the process of reading everyone," he added. "We’ve read some really good actors and some total unknowns who are really good at playing the Stooges. We haven’t cast it yet but we will soon."
So, will these roles go to unknown or name actors? "In some roles [we're] probably leaning toward an unknown, in others, names," Pete said. "But this crazy amount of people, like you would not believe how many people who have come in [to read for the roles] and there are still more to come ... we haven’t made up our mind because we still have people to see. "
"I would speculate that at least one of those roles will be a complete unknown," Bobby added.
"We’ve seen some amazing people, I have to say," Pete said. "Better than we expected.
Fair enough. My next question: putting aside the casting process, are these the Stooges we know and love, or a new take on the classic characters?
"Nope, they are Moe, Larry, Curly as you remember them," Pete said. "It’s not a biopic, it’s the episodes just as you saw but we re-wrote, we have all new episodes. We have three episodes. Technically each episode picks up where the last one left off, each one begins with its own theme so it’s about an hour and twenty-five minutes. Three episodes, fun, old-fashioned, but it takes place present day and they look, dress, and sound like the Three Stooges."
I then asked if, considering the modern day setting, whether this will leave room for raunchy, Farrelly brothers-esque humor, or if it will be classic slapstick comedy.
"I think it will be classic slapstick," Bobby said. "You know, each comedy calls for a different brand of humor so we’ll be true to the original Stooges as best we know how to."
"Absolutely," Pete added. "And the Stooges by the way, is just naturally and organically PG. That’s what it is, we wouldn’t want it to be what it isn’t. It’s like ‘Napoleon Dynamite,’ as funny as that was, that was a PG movie, not PG-13. It’s just natural, and this is what the Stooges is."
What do you think of unknowns playing the Three Stooges? And what do you think of the Farrelly's take on the film? Tell us in the comment section or on Twitter!