Sean PennWhenever you imagined a dream cast to play the Three Stooges in a movie, did you ever imagine an Academy Award-winning gay activist would be the first to sign? Sean Penn (?!) has agreed to play Larry in The Three Stooges, according to Variety, and Jim Carrey is negotiating for the part of Curly. Reportedly, Carrey is preparing to gain 40 pounds so he can play the role. And to play Moe? None other than Benicio Del Toro is being targeted by MGM and the Farrelly Brothers.

Jim Carrey would be a natural, of course, but Sean Penn? Does he have a funny bone in his body? His last attempt at a humorous role came in 1989's We're No Angels, a woefully unfunny film in which Penn was teamed with Robert DeNiro. Sure, he made his bones as the stoned surfer Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but it takes a real stretch of imagination to think he can play a Stooge. Stranger things have happened, though, and maybe Penn will pull a rabbit out of his ultra-serious persona and shock us all.

Del Toro doesn't have much of a comedy resume, either, though Variety's article claims he "showed comic chops" in Guy Ritchie's Snatch. Peter and Bobby Farrelly have written the script and will direct. The film is intended to be "not a biopic, but rather a comedy built around the antics of the three characters that Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Howard played in the Columbia Pictures shorts." Production is scheduled to begin in the fall for a 2010 release.

Am I underrating Sean Penn's comic abilities? Are you itching to see Penn, Carrey, and Del Toro as The Three Stooges?