27 MARCH 2009

Almost 80 years after The Three Stooges burst onto the Hollywood scene, Jim Carrey, Sean Penn and Benicio del Toro are set to bring the slapstick comedy trio back to the big screen.

The Tinseltown stars are to take part in a new celluloid adventure starring hapless characters Larry, Curly and Moe. Behind the new project are the Farrelly brothers - the siblings responsible for comedy flicks There's Something About Mary and Shallow Hall.

Ontario-born funnymam Jim is ready to put on 40 pounds to play tubby Curly, while Sean has apparently already signed on the dotted line to portray zany Larry. It would be the double Oscar-winner's first comedy since 1999's Sweet And Lowdown. Meanwhile Puerto Rican actor Benicio is being courted to play the group's leader Moe.

The Three Stooges made 25 short films over more than 50 years on the big screen. They underwent several lineup changes along the way, but the most famous comprised actors Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Jerome Howard.

Photo: Getty Images
The Ontario-born comic is ready to put on 40lbs to match the physique of Jerome 'Curly' Howard for the new flick
Photo: Getty Images
In their 50 years on the big screen, comedy trio The Three Stooges made 25 short films and had many incarnations. Their most famous lineup was (from left) Jerome 'Curly' Howard, Moe Howard and Larry Fine