Focus’ Schamus brings back ‘Game’

Lee attached to direct project

Focus Features co-chair James Schamus has revived “A Little Game” — months after the project imploded — and brought in frequent collaborator Ang Lee to direct.

Project is expected to be Lee’s next project after “Lust, Caution,” his World War II-era pic set in Shanghai. “Game” will mark his third straight pic for Focus after “Brokeback Mountain” and “Lust, Caution.”

Schamus is rewriting the romantic comedy, an adaptation of a French play called “A Little Game of Consequence.” It centers on a happily engaged Brooklyn couple who decide to play an experiment on their friends; when a rumor goes around that they have broken up, they play along to find out what their pals really think of their coupling.

WAM Films is producing the pic, with Alain Chabot and Stephanie Danan as producers and Bruno Pesery as exec producer. Jean Dell and Gerald Sibleyras penned the French play.

Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz had been set to play the leads, but they abruptly exited the project weeks before it was set to begin lensing in early October amid concerns about the quality of the script.

Focus dismissed helmer Gabriele Muccino (“The Pursuit of Happyness”), but Schamus remained committed to getting the project off the ground (Daily Variety, Oct. 4).

Project reps the 11th collaboration between Lee and Schamus. Besides “Brokeback” and “Lust, Caution,” they worked on “The Ice Storm,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Hulk.”

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