Two major studio films are now without a two-time Oscar-winning actor. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sean Penn will not be appearing in two major films he signed on for, The Three Stooges and Cartel.

It was said that the actor, who picked up his second Oscar for his leading performance in Milk, is taking time off from his career to focus on his family. It was said that the break could be longer than a year, and Penn has already informed the two productions of his decision.

The Cartel production is said to move on without Penn and recast the role, as there has been no start date planned, but The Three Stooges is left with a bit of a bind. An August start-date has already been slotted by MGM, with a 2010 release date set and Jim Carrey and Benecio del Toro have signed on has Curly and Moe, while Penn was going to play Larry. It is unclear whether the directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly will re-cast Larry or wait for Penn to become available again, although if they wait, they could lose Carrey and del Toro.

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