Sean Pean has pulled out of MGM's 'The Three Stooges' and Universal and Imagine's crime thriller 'Cartel,' reports THR.
It is understood that the two-time Oscar-winning actor-writer-director is taking a leave from his Hollywood career to focus on his family. Penn has already informed the productions he will not be available. It's unclear how long the absence could last, though sources have said up to a year.
MGM and the Farrellys, who wrote the script and are slated to direct 'The Three Stooges', will need to decide whether they will wait for Penn or seek to find a new actor.
Time and availability are the issues: "Stooges" was eyeing a late August start date, and MGM has slotted it for a 2010 release. If the studio does wait, it could risk losing Carrey and del Toro.