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Katz shuttling ‘Dieter’ deal

Settlement expected soon as another D'Works partner enters fray

Speculation continues hot and heavy that the dustup among Mike Myers, Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment over “Dieter” is close to a settlement that could come as early as today.

But there has been a new twist in the cast of characters: Earlier settlement attempts involved Steven Spielberg as a mediator, but this time around it’s his DreamWorks partner Jeffrey Katzenberg doing the heavy lifting.

“Jeffrey has been going back and forth between the parties making suggestions,” said one source.

Despite persistent reports that a settlement could involve DreamWorks, at present it’s just a matter of “Jeffrey stepping in and helping,” according to a source.

For the past year, Katzenberg has worked with Myers, who has a role in the upcoming DreamWorks animation feature “Shrek.”

Imagine involvement likely

If there is a settlement, it will undoubtedly involve Imagine as well as Universal. Imagine toppers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard have produced a string of hits for Universal, including last weekend’s “The Nutty Professor II,” making it highly unlikely that Universal would seek a separate peace with Myers.

Also confirmed is that production designer Bo Welch, who was skedded to make his directing debut with “Dieter,” will instead helm Imagine-Universal’s “Live Bait.”

The Myers melee began in June, when Universal sued Myers for breach of contract, accusing him of walking off the “Dieter” feature. In July, Imagine jumped into the fray, claiming Myers breached a separate deal with it. A week later, Myers sued Universal, claiming the studio tried to bully him into making “Dieter” with an unacceptable script. He also brought an array of claims related to abusive service of the complaint and named Grazer as a co-conspirator for divulging his home address.

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