Farrelly brothers reboot The Three Stooges

by Eric Melin on November 4, 2008

in Blogs

three stoogesWhy, oh, why?

Apparently, the recent track record (“The Heartbreak Kid,” “Fever Pitch,” “Stuck on You”) of the formerly funny Farrelly brothers (“There’s Something About Mary,” “Kingpin”) was not enought to dissuade MGM from going ahead and giving Peter and Bobby the greenlight on a reboot of a Three Stooges movie.

The first thing that pops in my head is Mel Gibson, knowing that the actor/director is already off his rocker. But he’s actually a huge Three Stooges fan as you may be able to tell from some of his stuff in “Lethal Weapon.” Maybe I just want to see him get slapped around a little bit. Another big Stooges fan? Sam Raimi. Might I suggest Bruce Campbell for Larry, Curly, Shemp, or Moe? Although he probably wouldn’t put up with anyone else slapping him around unless it was on a Raimi set.

mel gibson lethal weapon beer dogThe whole idea seems pretty hard to pull off in the current climate of dark movies, though, and it seems that a director who knows how specifically to tweak the material might be better off taking it. Somebody like Raimi maybe. “Evil Dead II” and “Army of Darkness” have all kinds of Stooges-inspired mayhem. Some of the Coen brothers slapstick in “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and “Raising Arizona” points to a unique spin they may be able to put on the Stooges. Unfortunately, this is a project the Farrellys have developing for themselves for about five years, and they want to hire nobodys.

Come to think of it, let’s just let the Three Stooges remain what they are: an influence. Throwing some hardcore slapstick in your movie can be a liberating thing, especially when new films keep heading in more and more absurd directions. But what we don’t need is a literal interpretation of the Three Stooges in a contemporary setting. It won’t have any relevance, and worse, could come across–in the hands of the Farrellys–as horribly forced and unfunny.

Some highlights from the article in Variety:

bruce campbell gun nose evil dead army darkness “It’s not a biopic. It takes place in present day, and they look, dress and sound exactly like the Stooges,” Peter Farrelly told Daily Variety. “When the economy started turning, we felt like the world could use a Stooges slapfest. Bobby and I haven’t done a real physical comedy in a while, and it’s the most exciting thing we could think of now, to have people go to the movie, see some great slapstick fun family humor.”

Farrelly said that an “American Idol”-like search will be conducted to find Curly, the most physically gifted member of the trio. Auditions will be held in three or four cities and a finalist will be chosen in Los Angeles. The film will be structured similarly to the shorts, as a feature storyline plays out over three installments that run between 25 and 30 minutes each. A second contest will be held to find several comedy shorts that will precede the film. The goal is to create the feeling that audiences got when they watched the original Stooges shorts as part of a diversified film program.

Ok, I’m intruiged. Extremely skeptical, but intruiged.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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