’s been a bad year for Jim Carrey. It opened in the shadow of Fun With Dick & Jane, a movie that everyone expected to do better. And now the guy can’t seem to get a movie off the ground – first Used Men, the comedy he was doing with Ben Stiller and Jay Roach, collapsed because of the budget. Then Ripley’s Believe It Or Not got postponed for more script work and may yet get itself also sidelined by a ballooning budget. Now his third movie in a row is not working out – the romantic comedy A Little Game came apart like space shuttle Challenger yesterday as Carrey and co-star Cameron Diaz quit and director Gabriele Muccino was fired.

The film is an adaptation of a French play, and Carrey and Diaz joined the project with the stipulation that the third act would be rewritten, because these kinds of people are often control freaks without regard for the creative process of writers. When the new draft came in they hated it enough to bail on the whole thing, which was supposed to shoot in a couple of weeks.

A Little Game is at Focus Features, which is headed by James Schamus, an honest-to-God writer himself. Schamus is taking a last-ditch crack at the script, hoping to at least get Carrey back in the film.

At this rate next year won’t be going that well for Carrey, either. His next picture, Number 23, is surrounded by the kind of buzz that you only hear when a hundred thousand Africanized bees are about to sting your sorry ass to death. At least the CGI version of Horton Hears a Hoo that he’s voicing is guaranteed to make enough to keep his career from flatlining.