For what it’s worth I passed along talk on March 1st that Sean Penn had been talking to Bobby and Peter Farrelly for their Three Stooges pic. Because earlier this afternoon (i.e., while I was watching Adventureland in the Broadway screening room) Variety‘s Michael Fleming announced that Penn’s definitely on board in that capacity.

Jim Carrey is going to play Curly, and reportedly plans to gain 40 pounds — good God! — and most likely get a Curly tennis ball haircut. (Where is is written that overweight is funny in and of itself? Because all it puts out in my eyes is grotesque.) And MGM is reportedly “zeroing in” on Benicio del Toro — a.k.a., Che Guevara — to play Moe

I accept the proposition that the Farrelly’s don’t have their edge any more and the torch has been passed to the Judd Apatow gang, but this is a great cast. They’ve all played retarded obsessives before — Carrey all his life, Penn in I Am Sam (which makes me cringe every time I hear because it should have been called Sam I Am), and Del Toro in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Let’s all take a moment of silence to remember the Stooges who were talked up at one time and might have been — Russell Crowe as Moe, Johnny Depp as whomever, Mel Gibson as Curly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Curly, Robert Downey, Jr. as Larry, etc.