Penn Puts Career on Pause

Actor will focus on family in wake of near-split with wife
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2009 9:11 AM CDT
In this Feb. 22, 2009 file photo, Robin Wright Penn, left, and Sean Penn arrive for the 81st Academy Awards in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, file)
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(Newser) – Sean Penn is taking a timeout from acting to focus on his family, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The actor dropped out of The Three Stooges and the crime thriller Cartel, and sources say his sabbatical from Tinseltown could last up to a year. His part in Cartel will be recast, but the Farrelly brothers have not revealed plans for the high-profile Stooges.

Penn last month halted separation proceedings from wife Robin Wright Penn after the couple's latest high-profile split. The producers of Stooges, in the works for more than a decade and slated for 2010, now face a potential dilemma: They risk losing co-stars Jim Carrey and Benicio del Toro if they wait for Penn to return. Meanwhile, Penn has already completed two upcoming films, The Tree of Life and Fair Game.