Benicio Del Toro Still the Front Runner for Moe in ‘The Three Stooges’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated May 22nd, 2011 at 8:02 pm,

Benicio Del Toro The Three Stooges Moe Howard Benicio Del Toro Still the Front Runner for Moe in The Three Stooges

Following MGM’s reorganization, which placed Spyglass co-heads Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum as co-CEOs of the studio, we’re finally seeing some momentum from some of the studio’s stalled projects.

James Bond 23 already has a release date and the Farrelly Brothers are eyeing an April start for production on their Three Stooges film with Benicio Del Toro still interested in portraying lead-stooge Moe.

Three Stooges fans have endured an emotional roller coaster ride, ever since the Farrellys announced their intention to bring a new Stooges threesome to the silver screen back in 2009. Since the initial announcement, numerous names have been attached to the three lead roles: Sean Penn as well as Paul Giamatti were both, at one point, set to play zany middleman Larry, and Jim Carrey was considered a lock for the role of knucklehead Curly – until MGM’s legal problems seemingly destroyed the chance of the film ever being produced.

Despite a lot of back and forth over the casting of Larry and Curly, one actor has remained committed, or at least interested, in portraying the the gruff and no-nonsense Moe. Speaking with The Providence Journal, Peter Farrelly confirmed that Benicio Del Toro is still their top choice for Moe Howard:

“We’re casting, but nobody is in right now. Benicio [Del Toro] is the front runner for Moe, but we’ve not made a deal with him yet.”

Though Del Toro hasn’t wavered like his potential cast-mates, it’s important to remember that he isn’t locked for the role  – as recently as two weeks ago we reported on a rumor that Jackass lead Johnny Knoxville, SNL star Andy Samberg, and Australian comedian Shane Jacobson could be on the Farrelly’s shortlist for Moe, Larry, and Curly respectively.The rumor was quickly dismissed as untrue and annoying by Peter Farrelly but still indicates there’s some uncertainty surrounding the casting of the film’s three leads.

As for who might join Del Toro (assuming the actor signs-on) in the iconic roles previously held by Penn and Carrey, it appears to be anyone’s game:

“The problem is that everybody’s gotta read for the part. Our feeling is that it just can’t be your take on Moe. It’s gotta be Moe. Someone could nail Curly’s mannerisms, but if you’re 130 pounds it probably wouldn’t work.”

As we get closer to The Three Stooges production start date in April, it’ll be interesting to see who the Farrelly Brothers decide is, or is not, Larry, Curly, and Moe. Considering their interest in accomplished and diverse actors such as Benicio Del Toro, Jim Carrey, Sean Penn, and Paul Giamatti, the Farrellys seem to have a unique vision for how to resurrect the iconic comedy trio and it’s unlikely that the directors will turn to typical comedians like Knoxville and Samberg.

the three stooges Benicio Del Toro Still the Front Runner for Moe in The Three Stooges

That said, if you’re expecting the Farrellys to ditch their slap-stick roots and channel Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon (which starred Carrey as funny-man Andy Kaufman), Peter Farrelly also discussed the story (which, we previously reported, will feature three very different acts with an interlaced story):

“It’s all new material. It’s not a biopic. We want to give a matinee feel to it. But none of the studios had any interest in it at the beginning. There was a lot to prove. We even had to show that in the script, despite all the hitting the Stooges were known for, it could be a PG movie.”

With traditionally slapstick subject matter, and a roster of films including Shallow Hal, The Heartbreak Kid, and Stuck on You, it’ll be intriguing to watch production unfold – and see how the filmmakers utilize an actor like Del Toro, should he sign on the dotted line.

Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @screenrant and let us know who you think should play the iconic Stooges.

The Three Stooges is tentatively scheduled to hit theaters in 2012.

Source: The Providence Journal [via Cinemablend]

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  1. What worries me about this is the idea of the Farrellys trying to find someone to “nail Curly’s mannerisms”… makes me think that they’ll try and get an emulation of the icons. Of course this did work very well for Star Trek, and their casting attempts so far are odd at best, so who knows… Hopefully it doesn’t come off like The Brady Bunch and seem like a mockery of the original (and yes, I know that was the intent with that horrible movie). Maybe I just don’t want to see this redone.

  2. Knoxville is the best choice, and I mean that completely honestly. I find it very disappointing that that was only a rumor. I can’t think of somebody who would be better than Knoxville.

  3. cgi

  4. Del Toro would be great as Moe. I don’t think this new 3 Stooges is needed, though.

    I’m actually surprised they haven’t mentioned Kevin James or Will Farrell for Curly….

    • Yes, but can Del Toro master the ‘Knucklehead Accent’?

      • I always knew Moe had a spanish accent under his Brooklyn monotone.

  5. Why don’t they cast an Asian, Hispanic and Black actor to play these roles?

    That would be funny,,, :)

  6. I am really surprised that they are not looking at Samburg as Larry. He is not a bad actor and I was surprised at how much he looks like Larry.

  7. I don’t know if they can capture the same type of comedic timing as the original Stooges. To them slapping each other around was very natural.

    The Farrelly Brothers do make funny movies though. I would be interested to see what the story will be. There was not TV back in there time, but there stories are more towards a TV style.

    Hollywood should take great care when they remake TV or movies. The originals are always the best that’s why we remember them. There are too many re-makes that seem to destroy that image.

    Hopefully the movie the Farrelly’s make is one to remember and that can be enjoyed over and over again.

  8. I hope the movie is filmed either entirely black and white or in color in an old time film look. Sort of like in Black Dynamite except older looking. It worked well for that movie.

  9. I’m just glad the rumors about that Jackass (pun intended) Johnny Knoxville are BS.

  10. 790 you know Del Toro is Latin right? Kevin James no, but John C Riley…perfect as curly.

    • Ugh, Latin? Don’t you mean Latino? Or better yet he’s actually Puerto Rican. Anyways, the hell’s the difference? Hispanic, Latino, Spanish….collectively it’s Spanish to me. I’m Colombian.

  11. The idea of a movie for these guys just sounds funny. I like the idea and hope they make it. Del Toro can be so weird it’s funny so i would like him to be Moe. He sounded so funny in Usual suspects and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He actualy was my favorite part in Fear and Loathing, his crazy actions and screaming were funny to me. Besides he needs a good movie. Wearwolf was okay, Che was great but kinda boring, and before that he had such depressing movies like Pledge: which he was good in. And Sin City was great too. he had a great part in that

  12. @Bane, I just didn’t want to come off as racist. :)

    All those actors are caucasion looking an all.

  13. Some mentioned John C Reilly, hmmm…I agree, would work. DelToro would have to lose that accent or he’ll ruin it. Otherwise I see him pulling it off ok, he’s got the look and do the intensity of the character.

  14. Broken english Moe?

    Me thinks another hollywood politicaly correct ala Little Rascals, piece of sh*t = FAIL!!

  15. Accent? People Benecio has a Spanish Accent as Obama has a African Accent.Unless he plays a latino as his Oscar worthy role in Traffic he doesn’t. Does anyone remember The Usual Suspects? That was an accent and it wasn’t Spanish. His roles are interesting and show great talent ( Except fOR tHE WOLFMAN). Can he be Moe? Don’t know, I believe very few people can but I would love to fing out.

  16. zach galifinakus should play curly, I saw a still from hangover 2 where zach head is shaved, to me I saw curly. The farrelys should consider him.

  17. my vote for play moe howard is robert de niro please please please please please please he look like moe howard