'Game' over for Muccino, Diaz, Carrey


The much-ballyhooed reteaming of Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz for Focus Features' "A Little Game Without Consequence" has turned out to be short-lived.

Both Carrey and Diaz have exited the project, which was announced in early September (HR 9/6). The movie's director, Gabriele Muccino, also has departed. Production was to have started this month in New York.

Sources cited problems with the script as the principal reason for the departures. The script was said to have gone in a different direction than the actors expected when they became involved. Allan Loeb ("Things We Lost in the Fire") penned a draft of the screenplay based on a play by Jean Dell and Gerald Sibleyras, which also was turned into the 2004 French film "Un petit jeu sans consequence," written by Bernard Rapp. Muccino wrote the most recent draft.

The comedy-drama revolves around a picture-perfect couple who fake a breakup, only to discover that their friends never thought their union was a good idea in the first place.

The differences came to a head over the weekend, when "conversations were had," according to one source. Focus and the movie's producers, Alain Chabat and Stephanie Danan, wanted to go in one direction, Muccino in another. Diaz and Carrey left the project before Muccino's exit.

Several sources said the trio wanted to keep the project's dark tone, while Focus wanted to make a more commercial movie. Focus said Tuesday that it is still planning to make the movie and is looking for a new director.

"Due to amicable but substantive creative differences, Focus Features and producers Alain Chabat and Stephanie Danan are no longer making 'A Little Game' with Gabriele Muccino. We are actively seeking a suitable replacement and plan to move forward with the project when that happens," a Focus spokesperson said in a statement.

Several sources contend the producers still hope to make the movie with Carrey, who has director approval. But according to insiders close to the situation, Carrey is unlikely to return to the project.

For Carrey, this is the third movie in a row to hit roadblocks. "Used Guys," a movie he was to have starred in with Ben Stiller for 20th Century Fox, was shut down because of escalating costs. Then Paramount Pictures' "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" was put on hold -- sources attributed that change to either costs or script problems. One insider said Paramount was close to hiring a new writer to revive the project. With "Game," it appears that Carrey is leaving because of creative disagreements.

Carrey, Diaz and Muccino are repped by CAA. Carrey's deal for the film, however, was made while he was still at UTA.