Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sean Penn Backs Out Of Two Huge Films

Oscar winner Sean Penn (Milk) has dropped out of two high-profile films: MGM's "The Three Stooges" and Universal and Imagine's crime thriller "Cartel."

It is understood that the Oscar-winning actor/writer/director is taking a leave from his Hollywood career to focus on his family. It's unclear how long the absence could last, though sources have said up to a year.

Peter and Bobby Farrelly have spent the better part of a decade trying to get "Stooges" off the ground, and in March they pulled off a major casting coup: Penn as Larry, with Jim Carrey as Curly and Benicio del Toro as Moe.

Now MGM and the Farrellys, who wrote the script and are slated to direct, need to decide whether they will wait for Penn or seek to find a new actor. Time and availability are the issues: "Stooges" was eyeing a late August start date, and MGM has slotted it for a 2010 release. If the studio does wait, it could risk losing Carrey and del Toro.

Universal and Imagine, meanwhile, plan to move ahead on "Cartel" without Penn and will recast the part. The script, which is still being worked on, follows a man who journeys to protect his son after his wife is murdered by Mexican drug cartels. Asger Leth is directing. The movie had no start date or release date.

That really sucks since I have been looking forward to both of these films, but I do believe spending time with the family is more important. It seems like The Three Stooges movie is going to suffer the most since it was slated to begin filming around August. Personally, I think the studio should find a replacement quick. Losing both Carrey and del Toro would be somewhat of a huge blow considering those actors are big box office draws. I was really hoping Penn would at least stay on board for Universal's Cartel since that seems more like a movie that would be ideal for him. Hopefully they can find a suitable replacement since the story sounds very promising.


Andrew The Dark said...

Was Sean Penn really going to play Larry in the Stooges movie? I don't really see him playing that role properly. Cartel sounds interesting, but wasn't it done with Man on Fire?

Farzan said...

Penn was scheduled to play Larry in the movie, but he dropped out now. I too couldn't see him playing that part so were going to have to see if someone more suited for the role, plays the part. Cartel does sound somewhat like Man on Fire which I enjoyed. If they get the right actor to play the title role, I can see this becoming much more cooler than Man on Fire.