Yesterday, a rumor started to spread that Johnny Knoxville and Andy Samberg were being considered for the roles of Moe and Larry in Peter and Bobby Farrelly's long gestating dream project The Three Stooges. Peter Farrelly has now come foreword to confirm that those rumors are completely false.

The director appeared frustrated and annoyed that the rumors had spread so quickly, saying, "You don't want people to think 'they already cast that thing?' Because we haven't. It's wide open to everybody."

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About the original casting of Sean Penn, Jim Carrey, and Benicio Del Toro, who have long since left the project, Farrelly said, "That was real. Sean Penn wanted to do it and when Sean wanted to do it, everyone wanted to do it. But he is extremely involved in Haiti right now. We heard that if we waited a couple years, we could probably get him, but we've already waited a few years."

Peter doesn't dislike the idea of Johnny Knoxville and Andy Samberg coming onto the project. They just haven't auditioned, and there are no contenders at this point. Says Farrelly, "Right now, I don't know. There is no leader in the clubhouse."

The director also offered more information about the movie, which will be rated PG, "It's The Three Stooges just like the [old shorts]. They're going to look the same, dress the same, sound the same, act the same, with the same sound effects. A car whips by an orphanage, throws a duffel bag out its window and keeps going. A nun sees the duffel and opens it up, and a little baby hand comes out and - Boink! - hits her in the eye. So that first episode is them growing up in the orphanage."

The 20th Century Fox comedy is gearing up for a mid-April start in Atlanta. That's only four months away, so expect to hear some official casting announcements made soon.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange