“SIXTH SENSE” wunderkind HAYLEY JOEL OSMENT’s  comeback means wearing a pair of way too tight  hot pants and a much-older male lover!

The 24-year-old actor, whose career stalled after he saw dead people in “The Sixth Sense” more than a decade ago, is hoping to make a big splash by playing a flamboyant gay character in the new indie comedy “Sassy Pants.”

“Haley deliberately chose an outrageous role to get producers talking about him again,” an insider told The ENQUIRER. “He’s still very talented and ambitious, and he’s rolling the dice with a controversial role he hopes will lead to more serious movies.”

Haley was nominated for an Academy Award for his turn as the boy who saw and communi­cated with ghosts in the 1999 hit starring Bruce Willis.

But his following films “Pay It Forward” and “Second­hand Lions” flopped at the box office, and he later struggled to land more mature roles.

“He’s grateful for the opportunity ‘Sixth Sense’ gave him, but he feels like it stalled him too,” said the insider. “He doesn’t want to be perceived as a one-trick pony. So after Haley read the ‘Sassy Pants’ script, he immediately said, ‘Sign me up!’”

In order to prepare for his role, the source says Haley vis­ited underground gay bars and quizzed his gay friends about how he should talk and act.

“Haley’s hoping this splashy new role will shift his career into high gear,” added the source. “He’d love nothing more than another Oscar nomination and a ticket back to the Hollywood big-time.”