Sean Penn won’t be turning into an iconic “Stooge” or joining a Hollywood “Cartel” after all.
The Oscar winner has backed out of “The Three Stooges” and the crime thriller “Cartel,” a rep for the actor confirmed to Access Hollywood.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Penn dropped out of the projects in order to take a break from his career and focus on his family.
“We indeed informed both productions that Sean was not available now,” a rep for Penn said in a statement to Access Hollywood. “If for whatever reason the start dates on these productions were to be postponed, Sean would happily remain involved.”
There was no word on how long the actor’s Hollywood hiatus might last.
The news comes nearly two months after Penn filed for legal separation from his wife of 13 years, Robin Wright Penn.
After filing the request on April 24, citing “irreconcilable differences,” Penn officially withdrew the request less than a month later, calling his initial filing an “arrogant mistake.”
Penn, 47, and Wright, 43, tied the knot on April 27, 1996. The couple has two children – daughter Dylan Francis, 18, and son Hopper Jack, 15.
The couple previously filed for separation in December 2007. However, they reconciled in April 2008.
As far as the projects Penn is leaving behind, both now remain in limbo, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“The Three Stooges,” co-starring Jim Carrey as Curly and Benicio del Toro as Moe, had been slated to being shooting in August. But now, producers must decide if they will wait for Penn to come back or find another actor to play the role of Larry.
The Reporter noted that if the studio should decide to wait for Penn, it could be at the expense of Carrey and del Toro.
In the meantime, Universal plans to move forward with “Cartel” without Penn and will recast his role.
The film follows a man who journeys to protect his son after his wife is murdered by Mexican drug cartels. There was no current start date or release date announced yet.