Whenever I’m at a store and need information on a product, and there isn’t a store employee to be found (looking at you Walmart), I have discovered that a sure-fire way of getting the attention and information I need: just walk behind the counter, stand there and very soon you’ll be swarming with store employees.

The above scenario reminds me of what is happening with Farrelly Brothers’ movie version of The Three Stooges. Fans have heard nothing but bad news regarding the film for months – thanks in part to MGM’s major financial troubles. The actors rumored to be attached to the project at one point all dropped out, and once again fans were left without any information; since then, the Farrelly Brothers and Fox Studios weren’t offering any new information – until now.

A couple of days ago The Wrap “walked behind the counter” and ran an article claiming an “inside source” had the lowdown on Johnny Knoxville (Jackass) and Andy Samberg (Hot Rod) landing on the Farrelly’s shortlist for Moe and Larry. Just like every other piece of interesting movie news, this too traveled the movie blogosphere like wild fire. One problem – Peter Farrelly spoke with Entertainment Weekly a day later claiming the information was both untrue and annoying.

Farrelly had this to say about the rumors and his expectations for casting the right person:

“You don’t want people to think ‘they already cast that thing,’ because we haven’t. It’s wide open to everybody. I don’t want ‘somebody’s version of Moe It’s not like Batman where you can have your own take on Batman.”

Farrelly went on to say he wasn’t opposed to the idea of Knoxville or Samberg in the roles but adds they haven’t auditioned:

“Right now, I don’t know. There is no leader in the clubhouse.”

It interesting to note during the interview with EW Farrelly never debunks the “rumor” of Australian comedian Shane Jacobson playing the role of Curly Howard. It could have just slipped his mind but for him to be riled up enough to contact EW and personally shoot down the rumors, one would think he would have addressed ALL of the casting speculation. Also, notice how he never specifically says Knoxville and Samberg AREN’t on the shortlist (which is all the initial report said) and simply states they haven’t landed the roles.

In my opinion there is still a good chance the previous news about Knoxville, Samberg and Jacobson could hold water and Farrelly is just playing damage control, but fans should know something concrete in the next month or so as shooting for The Three Stooges is set to begin in April.

Farrelly’s interview wasn’t completely filled with vinegar, because he dropped some major information regarding The Three Stooges plot line including the encouraging fact they won’t be changing anything about the iconic characters (see what going behind the counter can do?):

“It’s The Three Stooges just like the [old shorts]. They’re going to look the same, dress the same, sound the same, act the same, with the same sound effects.”

As we already know, the film will be shown in three acts of three completely different, yet connected stories:

  • Act I begins with a car driving by an orphanage as a duffel bag is tossed out the window then a nun walks over to investigate. As she opens the bag she is “boinked” in the eye by a babies hand and the rest of first act surrounds the trio’s lives growing up in the orphanage.
  • Act II starts with the fellows as 40-something adults, finally leaving the orphanage and striking out to find their own way in life together. After a familiar series of misadventures, the three friends decide they would be better off going their own separate way.
  • Act III starts off with Moe, Larry and Curly living separate lives – alone and out-of-touch with reality as they find out the hard way that while eye-gouging and nose thwacking is OK to do on each other, most of the general public considers it assault and battery.

While it’s interesting to finally read some more in depth plot details I can’t help but wonder if turning The Three Stooges into a heavy-handed message on life in the real world is the right way to go for the third act. Regardless, the movie should appeal to longtime fans of the original characters and assuming this is a passion project for the Farrelly’s (they have been working on it for 10 years, after all) then the movie should at least be entertaining.

The Three Stooges nyuk, nyuk, nyuks into theaters in 2012.

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Source: EW