DreamWorks inks scribe for ‘Shrek 4’

Studio skeds May 2007 release for third pic

As “Shrek 3” nears pre-production, DreamWorks is already plotting another ogre encore. Studio has begun developing “Shrek 4,” hiring Tim Sullivan to write the script.

While it may seem a bit bullish to plot a fourth installment before the third one opens, the first two films grossed more than $1 billion worldwide and have been the cornerstone of DreamWorks’ vaunted CGI animation operation.

Sullivan landed on the DreamWorks radar by working on several feature toon projects for Jeffrey Katzenberg. Sullivan was invited to pitch a take for a fourth “Shrek,” and the studio sparked to his idea.

Sullivan hire comes after DreamWorks secured scribe David H. Steinberg to write “Puss in Boots,” a spinoff involving the character voiced by Antonio Banderas in “Shrek 2.”

DreamWorks is plotting a May 2007 release for “Shrek 3,” which has Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Banderas once again voicing the signature characters.

Sullivan is a Cambridge-educated lawyer who quit to become a standup comic and then cut his teeth as a screenwriter adapting literary classics including “A Handful of Dust” and “Where Angels Fear to Tread” for British films. His breakthrough came when he wrote and directed “Jack and Sarah,” a film that became a sizable hit in England.

Sullivan then began working in Hollywood, writing “The Pretenders” for Imagine and adapting “Walking Papers” for New Line. He also wrote “Personal Shopping,” a film he will direct for producer Scott Rudin at Paramount.

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