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Sean Penn Says Au Revoir to Hollywood - Taking a Year Off

by
June 16, 2009

Sean Penn

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.

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  • Al
    Don't get too down? the only reason why this saddens me is that its ONLY a year.
  • Ron
    I wish he would take a year off then quit.
  • DoomCanoe
    ha agree with 1 and 2
  • Why do you say that? Sean Penn is a GREAT actor, I wouldn't want him to ever quit acting!
  • keith
    He is such an idiot . i wish he would stay away!
  • xerxex
    we'll be okay.
  • keicharones
    WTF? Penn is a great actor in my opinion. Cannot wait for The Tree of Life.
  • discojellyfish
    So long douchebag!
  • Greedo the Rodian
    I don't really notice when a star disappears for a few years. Like Julia Roberts.
  • crumb
    I hope during that time he thinks about directing another film; I loved INTO THE WILD. We'll miss him for the one year he's not around. Hope he gets everything settled in his personal life.
  • The Clergy Arc
    meh
  • xerxex
    Well Into The Wild was amazing so I'll miss him a little.
  • Kimmie
    The strain of working on his one movie per year was clearly too much for him. If you worked three months a year for the last 20 years, wouldn't you need a break too?
  • w00t!!!
    I'm with 1-3! lol I was like, "a year!?!" I mean seriously, who cares. o0o0o a year. Go take a break, no one will notice.
  • Evo
    I agree w/ Alex wholeheartedly on this one. Penn is an absolutely fine actor and filmmaker who takes his craft seriously. While I don't always love the films that he chooses, he is almost always interesting to watch and puts his heart into his work. I could really care less about any personality deficiencies that the media and papparazzi are infatuated with. I mean...Milk, 21 Grams, Thin Red Line, Mystic River, Into the Wild, U Turn, Dead Man Walking, State of Grace, Colors, Bad Boys, I Am Sam, etc....2 Oscars, 48 award nominations and 46 wins. Won't be missed?! pfft...
  • Dan the Fan
    Sean Penn - for me - is one of those actors that I could take or leave. He has done some movies I loved, Mystic River, U Turn... but not one of those actors I feel compelled to go out to see each of his works. Good for him though. You know what, if he has to get his life in order, I hope he does so. Now if we could all just forget about the times he attacked an extra on set, or attacked a few paparazzi... The man clearly has anger issues, we should let him sort them out. :)
  • Sean Penn is a great actor . I like it .
  • johnny rico
    14 - uh, people will notice, he just won an oscar... he's a great actor, what gives man?
  • Corran Horn
    I'm with Alex, Evo, and lead panel on this. Sean Penn, despite his temper, is an excellent actor. Personally, I wish it was his detractors here who were disappearing for a year, but that would be too much to ask. Kimmie: this may not make sense to you, but being on top can be a very stressful place regardless of how many/few films a person does. If he needs the break, let him take it. If he needs the break, fine by me. He's already completed the 2 films I wanted to see (Fair Game, Tree of Life). Cartel didn't interest me that much, although it could still be worthwhile. I truly had a hard time seeing Penn as Larry, and I'm not surprised he was going to drop out of it. It just didn't compute for me. Dan: You're right about the extra, but I'm all for Penn (or any actor) attacking the paparazzi. Those people are nothing more than human parasites. Either way, a break could do him a lot of good. Look at what it did for Robert Downey Jr.
  • xerxex
    Its 12 months I think we will be okay.
  • WarrenSigrouf
    Good riddance. Hopefully he'll stop using his acting career to influence politics. He may be a great actor, but he is an idiot offscreen.
  • Dan the Fan
    touché Corran, good call indeed.
  • Pam
    Take a year. Take a decade. Like most of the people on this thread, the world doesn't care.
  • Hola
    The only thing box office proves is how many people see a movie. Judging from Penn's box office record, that isn't many people. The tiny amount of people who do see his movies may passionately care, but they're still a tiny amount of people. Now that tiny amount of people can cry "It's not the amount of people who see Penn's movies that matter, it's the quality!" True, true. But it's still a tiny amount of people who see these movies and nobody else cares.
  • IndysCGIhat
    He's a great actor his politics suck. Ive lived the reality of his idealism, my families have endured under his fascist dictator friends (chaves, castro) He should get a disguise and go stay at both those places as an unknown (not as high profile friend of the revolution) and see how cool his talk is! Mother F'r will be back here on his knees faster than you can say "Ayuda me, tengo hambre!" (Help me, Im hungry) Oh, and take Danny Glover too!

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