Three Stooges film gets second life at Fox but maybe without Sean Penn, Jim Carrey and Benicio del Toro

Because MGM in the last legs of its Chapter 11 reorganization, The Three Stooges film project is in the process of finding a new home at Fox, according to THR.

According to the report, the deal is in its final stages, the long-involved Farrelly Brothers still to be behind the camera. It’s unknown if original cast members – which include Sean Penn as Larry, Jim Carrey as Curly and Benicio del Toro as Moe – will remain attached to the project, but odds are slim.

The Three Stooges – which is eyeing a March 14, 2011 start date – is not a biopic but a fictional treatment that maintains the Stooges’ gleeful slap schtick updated for a new generation. It has been a passion project for the Farrellys, who have been involved with it since Stooges brand holder C3 Entertainment sold the feature rights to Warner Bros. in March 2001 for them to write and produce.

The project was originally set up at Columbia Pictures, which had produced the classic 1930s Three Stooges short films. Warner Bros. eventually let the rights lapse and MGM’s Mary Parent nabbed them, with the Farrellys’ continuing participation. The movie was set to lens when, first Penn took a self-imposed break from acting, and then MGM’s financial woes put everything in turnaround.