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$25 mil for Myers in ‘Powers 3’ play

Roach, Lyons, McCullers may return as well

NEW YORK — The dealmaking has begun on “Austin Powers 3,” and Mike Myers is in negotiations with New Line for a pact that will pay him $25 million against 21% of the gross.

While a New Line rep maintained that no sequel deals had been made, sources said that Myers has all but closed a deal to continue the studio’s most lucrative film franchise.

Also set to return is Mike McCullers, who teamed with Myers to script “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” the sequel to “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.”

John Lyons, who produced the last film, is also set to come back, and negotiations are ongoing with Jay Roach to return and direct what would be his third “Powers” film.

Once deals are done, Myers and McCullers will begin to work out the storyline for the third film with Roach. Despite the recent regime change at New Line and a rededication to making lower cost genre films, “Austin Powers” is the exception.

While the original was a modest hit with an $88 million worldwide gross, its followup grossed $309 million worldwide. The strength of those numbers drove what will be Myers’ biggest upfront career payday.

When Myers will do the movie is an open question, given that he’s also in talks to star in “The Pink Panther” for MGM and director Ivan Reitman.

That film has a first script draft from screenwriter Lenny Blum, who’s rewriting.

Myers is also in the process of setting up another project, a new character concept he’s hatched that will take shape as a coproduction between Universal and DreamWorks.

Though the entire film is being kept under tight wraps, it will settle the well-publicized dispute with Universal over the comedy “Dieter.” It also puts him back in business with DreamWorks, for whom he voiced the lead ogre character in “Shrek,” an animated film which bows in May.