Page last updated at 10:07 GMT, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 11:07 UK

Sean Penn drops out of film roles

Sean Penn
Sean Penn already has two films which are set for release

Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn has abandoned plans to star in two forthcoming films.

His spokeswoman confirmed that he will no longer appear in The Three Stooges and Cartel, but declined to give a specific reason for backing out.

Penn, who won best actor for his role in Milk, withdrew a petition to divorce his wife Robin Wright-Penn last month.

The couple, married for 13 years, filed for divorce in December 2007 but reconciled some months later.

Family matters

They appeared together on the red carpet at the Oscars in February.

According to industry newspaper The Hollywood Reporter, it is understood that Penn could be taking up to a year off his film career to concentrate on family matters.

Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn
The couple first filed for divorce in 2007

It adds that the makers of The Three Stooges, in which Penn was to appear alongside fellow Oscar winner Benecio del Toro and Jim Carrey, must decide whether to wait for Penn or cast another actor.

But the project could risk losing its other stars due to scheduling issues.

The publication says that the producers of Cartel have decided to press on without Penn and find another lead actor.

Penn has two films which are made and ready to be released - The Tree of Life and Fair Game.



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