Sean Penn to play Larry in Three Stooges movie

Variety reports Jim Carrey, Benicio Del Toro may play Curly and Moe

Variety is reporting that MGM has given the Farrelly brothers the green light for a new Three Stooges film that could star Benicio Del Toro (Moe), Sean Penn (Larry) and Jim Carrey (Curly).

According to the report, recent Oscar winner Sean Penn has been secured, and the studio is currently negotiating to sign Del Toro and Carrey. Variety says that Carrey has begun making plans for the 40-pound weight gain required for his role as the portly Curly.

Variety further reports that Del Toro has been attached to the role of Moe for a long time, having caught the eyes of Peter and Bobby Farrelly, directors of such films as "Dumb & Dumber" and "There's Something About Mary." The brothers have been pursuing a Three Stooges film for more than a decade. However, a rumor listed on the Internet Movie Database has Johnny Depp listed to play Moe instead.

The film is not intended to be a biopic of actors Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Jerome "Curly" Howard, according to Variety, but instead will be a comedy featuring the Three Stooges in character. Filming starts in the fall, with an intended release date sometime in 2010.