You know when politicians and athletes quit to “spend more time with family”? Sean Penn is doing the same, walking away from lead roles in The Farrelly Brothers’ The Three Stooges and the crime drama Cartel. Reports say Penn’s sabbatical may last as long as one year. The Milk Oscar-winner recently dismissed his legal separation case with wife Robin Wright Penn (again), so that may or may not have something to do with this.
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter via Movieweb)
Cartel doesn’t have a production start date yet, and the screenplay is not yet complete, so Penn’s role will be recast. The film is a remake of the 1993 Italian thriller La Scorta, and centers around an attorney making a case against the Mafia, and the bodyguards hired to protect him. (In the Italian film, which won acclaim at Cannes and in Italy, the main character was a judge.) Cartel is set to be directed by Asger Leth (Ghosts of Cite Soleil).
For The Three Stooges, this is probably just another speed bump in the Farrelly Brothers’ dream to bring this film to reality. Penn had been cast alongside Benicio Del Toro and Jim Carrey, scheduled for a late August shooting start and 2010 theatrical release. Will the Farrellys recast or wait? We shall find out.
Never fear Sean Penn fans, the man will still be on the screen in 2010, with two finished films: The Tree of Life with Brad Pitt, by selective director Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line) and Fair Game, the adaptation of Valerie Plame’s memoir, with Naomi Watts as Plame, directed by Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Swingers, Jumper).