The Farrelly brothers seem to think so, as they have picked Giamatti to play Larry Fine in their long-in-the-planning Three Stooges film, according to a story in the Boston Globe this past weekend. Originally, Sean Penn had been the Ferrelly Brothers choice to play the curly-haired Stooge, but he had dropped out of the project citing “personal reasons.”
Giamatti will be joining Benicio Del Toro, who has been cast as the straight-banged Moe Howard. There has been no official word as to who may be shaving their head to play the bald third Stooge Curly Howard, though Jim Carey has been rumored to be in the running.
The Farrelleys have stated that their film will not be a remake of classic Stooge shorts or a bio-pic, but rather a collection of new Stooge adventures set in modern times with actors portraying the classic comedians. While I am not a big Stooge fan, the idea sounds fairly sacrilegious to me. And I’m a big fan of Giamatti and look forward to seeing him in whatever project he’s in. Granted, one of my favorite guilty pleasure films is the 1992 comedy Brain Donors, a very loose remake of A Night At The Opera, with John Turturro in the Groucho Marx role. But at least the producers never had Turturro sporting a greasepaint mustache.This project has been in development for some time, and despite this recent new development, I still wonder if it is ever going to get the nod to begin production from the studio.
(Ironically, Giamatti’s film career got a big boost from his turn as the hyper radio station manager in the Howard Stern film Private Parts. While Penn was still attached to the project, it was rumored that he was being coached on how to imitate Larry Fine’s distinctive voice by vocal actor Billy West, who would frequently do his own Larry Fine impersonation when he was a member of Stern’s radio show cast in the early 1990s.)