The Farrelly Brothers Reviving the Three Stooges in 2009 - Updated!
by Alex Billington
November 3, 2008
MGM has signed on Peter and Bobby Farrelly, better known as the Farrelly Brothers (of Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary, Shallow Hal, Stuck on You, The Heartbreak Kid), to direct a contemporary re-imagining of The Three Stooges. The Farrellys are big fans and have tried to get a film setup over at Warner Brothers for over five years, but only recently got the greenlight at MGM. The studio has already set a November 20th, 2009 release date for the currently untitled film. The Stooges, made up of Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard, originally appeared in short films during the 1930's and beyond. No writer has been announced for this project yet, as the Farrelly's will only be directing.
I'm not personally a Three Stooges fan, and I'm really not a Farrelly Brothers fan (I hate them and their unfunny movies), so I can't at all get interested in this. I'm not really sure how the Three Stooges would even work in modern cinema anyway? I know I'm not a fan of stupid humor, but maybe there are audiences who are? As much buzz as the revival of the Three Stooges will get next year, this is a project that I'm already fearing could turn out pretty awful. Or at least one that I know I will probably hate. It all depends on who they cast (and also who writes the script) - although I've got a funny feeling that the actors they get will only make things much worse. Is anyone genuinely excited by this news?
Update: Variety has added a few more details about the project for those who were skeptical. First off, the Farrellys will be polishing a script they previously wrote together with Michael Cerrone. The comedy will be given a $45 million budget and be either PG or PG-13 and feature the slap-happy low-tech comedy that the Stooges are known for. They will conduct an "American Idol"-like search to find Curly, although their is no mention of Moe or Larry, who I'm guessing will be played by real actors. Their goal is to create a feeling that the audiences got when they watched the original Stooges shorts. Part of this feeling includes running several comedic shorts that will precede their full film as well.
Peter Farrelly explains: "It's not a biopic. It takes place in present day, and they look, dress and sound exactly like the Stooges. When the economy started turning, we felt like the world could use a Stooges slapfest… It's the most exciting thing we could think of now, to have people go to the movie, see some great slapstick fun family humor." Now we finally have an idea as to why they're so interested (and excited) in reviving this classic comedy trio. "We know this is extremely difficult to pull off; we realize some Stooges fans will be upset no matter what we do," Farrelly said. "We love the Stooges and honor their memory, and we don't want them to disappear. We hope that next Thanksgiving, dads will introduce their kids to the Stooges and create a new generation of knuckleheads." You have got to be kidding me…