Sean Penn Says Au Revoir to Hollywood - Taking a Year Off
by Brandon Lee Tenney
June 16, 2009
Actor Sean Penn, after winning his second Oscar for his performance in last year's Milk, has decided to take up to a year off in order to resolve some personal matters, according to several sources in Hollywood, including Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood. Word is that he's had private conversations where he's said that he doesn't want to work "right away" and wants to "regroup" and "just needs personal time." Last month Penn filed for a request to dismiss his divorce proceedings from his wife Robin Wright Penn, the second time he's done so. Though his personal matters are, and will probably remain, purely speculation.
So how will the 48-year-old actor's sudden departure from the screen impact the projects to which he's already attached? According to THR, Penn has dropped out of Universal's action movie Cartel as well as MGM's Three Stooges, where he was set to play Larry as written and directed by the Farrelly Brothers. Over on HitFix, Gregory Elwood is reporting that their sources say the Three Stooges movie "is still a 'go' for MGM with Benicio del Toro (Moe) and Jim Carrey (Curly) already on board." Though, they may or may not eventually recast Penn's role. The Farrellys were hoping to begin principal photography in late August after nearly a decade of studio stalls. But, as it was before, it seems like the Stooges are back in limbo.
Don't get too down, though. Penn has two other films in the can - Terrence Malick's Tree of Life and Doug Liman's Fair Game, the film about Valerie Plame, the former to be released later this year (hopefully), and the latter sometime in 2010. It's not like Sean Penn ever saturated the industry (always a very discerning actor), but his yearly award-worthy performance will certainly be missed - even if it's onlu just for a year.