Studio pokes thesp for Farrelly brothers pic

Twentieth Century Fox to Johnny Knoxville: “Why, we oughta … cast you as Moe in ‘The Three Stooges.’ ”

Helmers Peter and Bobby Farrelly are looking to set Knoxville as Moe Howard in their modern update of “The Three Stooges,” and Knoxville is interested in the coveted role.

The Farrelly brothers have been looking to cast the part of Moe in order to zero in on Larry Fine and Curly Howard. While Fox had no comment, sources close to the project saythe Farrellys are waiting for Knoxville to officially accept, as negotiations have not formally begun.

Knoxville’s casting would signal a major shift in direction for the project, which initially had Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn and Jim Carrey circling the roles. Knoxville represents an attempt to appeal to younger audiences who are mostly unfamiliar with the Stooges.

Knoxville and his band of “Jackass” pranksters have been lauded as the modern-day equivalent of the slapstick trio.

The Farrellys developed “The Three Stooges” for years at MGM before 20th Century Fox took over the project.

Conundrum partner Bradley Thomas will produce with Charles B. Wessler, while Earl Benjamin, the gatekeeper of the Stooges’ estate, will exec produce.

The plan is to divide the PG-rated film into three, 27-minute segments driven by physical comedy, which Knoxville is known for.

Knoxville recently propelled “Jackass 3D” to a $117 million domestic gross. Thesp previously starred in the Farrellys brothers’ “The Ringer.”

He is repped by CAA.

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