‘Three Stooges’ Moves from Warners to MGM
The Three Stooges has gained new life with MGM becoming the new parent to the Peter and Bobby Farrelly project. The brothers had spent five years trying to develop the film at Warner Bros. but now they have a new lease on life and will give their script a polish then turn it over to Michael Cerrone to direct.
Peter Farrelly credited Mary Parent, MGM’s Worldwide Motion Picture Group chairman with having the enthusiasm to go out and grab the moribund film from Warners plus secure rights to the Stooges from C3. She sees the $45 million production as targeted as a PG or PG-13 project complete with the trademark slapstick the trio is known for. The movie will actually be three 20-25 minute segments loosely tied together to recreate the feel of the shorts the act made from the 1930s through the 1950s.
"It’s not a biopic. It takes place in present day, and they look, dress and sound exactly like the Stooges," Peter told 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."
A nationwide talent hunt, compared with the search for American Idol, will begin as the producers and director seek three comedians who can work well together and do the physical humor required to earn the Stooges name. A similar hunt will be conducted to find humorous short films to run with their feature.
"We know this is extremely difficult to pull off; we realize some Stooges fans will be upset no matter what we do," Farrelly said. "We love the Stooges and honor their memory, and we don’t want them to disappear. We hope that next Thanksgiving, dads will introduce their kids to the Stooges and create a new generation of knuckleheads."
MGM has already picked out November 20, 2009 to release the film. The studio may rethink that since Variety notes the competition that day is already thick with Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and the animated Planet 51.