The idea that Jackass star Johnny Knoxville could play the temperamental Moe Howard in Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s contemporary take on The Three Stooges is kind a no-brainer. His out of control man-child screen persona is practically the modern-day equivalent of the character.

Two months back, Benicio Del Toro was said to still be the front runner to play Moe in the Farrellys’ long-gestating Stooges project, which was thought to be dead just last fall. Things have since changed drastically and now Knoxville is reportedly all but a lock for the role instead.

Variety says that although Knoxville has yet to officially accept the offer and begin negotiations with 20th Century Fox officials, he’s virtually set to play Moe in The Three Stooges. Recently we learned that the Farrellys are looking at a handful of different actors to star in their film, with the likes of Will Sasso (S**T My Dad Says) and Justin Timberlake (Bad Teacher) having emerged as the most recent contenders for the parts of Curly and Larry, respectively.

The Three Stooges were originally an American vaudeville act in the early 20th century, before they became known for their short films, which were quite heavy on the physical comedy and cartoonish slapstick. It’s also been known for a while that the structure of the movie will essentially amount to a collection of three half-hour episodes that revolve around the Stooges at different stages in their lives.

The original trio of Stooges.

Variety also indicates that the The Three Stooges will be the rare PG-Rated effort from the Farrellys’, and will feature the same breed of physical humor as that of the original Stooges shorts. That’s an interesting revelation, seeing as that even the filmmaking siblings’ previous PG-13 pics like Dumb and Dumber, Shallow Hal, or Stuck On You pushed the boundaries of good taste, and were still quite heavy on raunchy material.

Given that the Farrelly’s recent R-Rated releases like The Heartbreak Kid and last month’s Hall Pass are generally considered more uninspired and gross than hilarious, could not pushing the comedy envelope help the duo to get their groove back? It could be a refreshing change of pace for the Farrellys and Fox will certainly approve, since a PG-Rated Three Stooges will appeal to a much wider moviegoing demographic than a Jackass-style adaptation would.

Raunchy comedy fans need not fret too much, though, since there will probably still be plenty of double entendres and winks to the adults in the audience in the Three Stooges pic – after all, this is still a movie by the Farrellys that we’re talking about here.

Look to hear more about The Three Stooges in the near future.

Source: Variety