Comedian finds 'Clause' at Disney

Walt Disney Pictures is in final negotiations with Martin Short to play the villain in “The Santa Clause 3.”

Short will get a seven-figure deal to play Jack Frost, who tries to take over Christmas from Santa Claus.

Tim Allen returns as Santa, aka Scott Calvin, who struggles to keep his new family happy while battling Frost.

Michael Lembeck, who directed the second “Santa Clause” film, returns to helm the third installment.

Lensing starts Nov. 14 for a holiday 2006 release.

Karen Glass and Brigham Taylor oversee the project for the studio.

The “Santa Clause” franchise has been a boon to the Mouse’s bottom line. First film took $145 million domestic and the sequel raked in $139 million.

Second City TV and SNL vet Short has been mostly absent from the bigscreen in recent years but has been busy in television. His “Jiminy Glick” yakker spawned a feature film, and he’s had notable guest spots on “Law & Order: SVU” and “Arrested Development.”

He also starred in the Los Angeles company of “The Producers” and is developing a one-man show for a spring bow on Broadway, with Clear Channel producing.

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