One of numerous movie franchise reboots that released in 2012 was The Three Stooges, the long-in-development film adaptation of the classic slapstick-driven comedy trio from writers/directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly. The flick was a moderate commercial success (grossing $55 million worldwide on a $30 million budget), and likewise earned a lukewarm, but not at all bad reception from critics overall.
Nonetheless, it comes as something of a surprise that – three years later – a sequel to the modern Three Stooges has now been officially announced. It’s already been confirmed that actors Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes, and Will Sasso will be reprising their roles from the 2012 feature as, respectively, Moe, Larry, and Curly in the followup.
C3 Entertainment, Grand Peaks Entertainment, and The Exchange have announced that they will produce the Three Stooges sequel, which is described specifically as an “action-comedy feature.” Here is the statement from C3 CEO Earl Benjamin, regarding the news:
“We’re excited to be moving forward with The Exchange and Grand Peaks on the next Three Stooges movie. With Sean, Chris and Will back as our Stooges and Cameron [Fay] writing, this next film will be a truly unique blend of fast paced action with the hilarious mayhem of The Three Stooges.”
The Three Stooges sequel is being scripted by relative newcomer Cameron Fay, though there’s no word yet on whether or not the Farrellys are going to be calling the shots again. On the one hand, fans of the 2012 film will probably want them to return, given how they handled the Stooges’ brand of comedy before (more on that in a moment). On the other hand, those who haven’t been impressed with just about any Farrelly project of late (the most recent example being Dumb and Dumber To) may not mind if another director takes the helm on this comedy followup.
Three Stooges was, in many ways, an unusual reboot in its approach. Its PG-Rated humor added a bit more adult references to the mix, but was otherwise pretty in keeping with the cartoonishly violent spirit of the classic Stooges’ comedy approach. Similarly, the film presented each act in its three-act narrative as an individual short featuring the Stooges, as a way of somewhat adhering to the traditional Stooges comedy format. It was an actual “update” of the property, all things considered.
However, it already sounds as though the sequel will be taking a different approach – what with the emphasis on it being an “action-comedy,” while a “major action star” is supposedly going to be joining the cast. Mind you, that doesn’t mean it’s sure to be better/worse than its predecessor – just different.
Question is, will it deviate too far from the 2012 Three Stooges’ reverential approach (something that fans of that film seemed to like) – and if so, will that allow the sequel to appeal to more/less people, as a result?