Senior Editor
11.04.08 32 Comments

MGM has finally agreed to let the Farrelly Brothers direct a Three Stooges remake, a project they’d been trying to get made at WB for five years.  You might remember the Farrelly Brothers as the guys who last made a good movie almost a decade ago, and most recently signed on to helm Walter the Farting Dog starring the Jonas Brothers.

The Farrellys have worked out a blueprint for a $45 million budget comedy that will be either PG or PG-13 and feature the slap-happy low-tech comedy prevalent in the Stooges shorts.

“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.”

$45 million is big for a comedy, especially a “low-tech” one.  Keep in mind Zack and Miri Make a Porno cost $25 mil and was Kevin Smith’s biggest budget to date.

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.

“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.” [Variety]

I’ll give them a little credit, I guess this is kind of a novel approach.  But when I hear “American Idol” or “fun family humor” it sets off the alarms in my head and I dive behind the couch to avoid the mouth breather stampede.  And I’m not sure I trust the comedy judgment of guys who put Carlos Mencia in their last movie.

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