Shrek 3: According to Variety, DreamWorks is scrambling to get Shrek 3 on a faster track. The studio has hired Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price to pen the pic's next installment. Jon Zack is onboard as a consultant.

Additional scribes, including those from the first films, may be brought on in coming months to polish the script. (The first two "Shrek" movies were each worked on by almost half a dozen writers.)

As early as January -- four months before the release of "Shrek 2" --DreamWorks was quietly mobilizing the development of Shrek 3, in which Shrek will contend with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

With the roaring success of "Shrek 2" -- the pic has been deemed the first big hit of the summer season -- the studio is now openly talking up plans for the upcoming sequel, which is aiming for a holiday 2006 release.

Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy, whose voices are featured in the first two films, will presumably lend their voices for the new pic. Each received $5 million for "Shrek 2," considerably more than they got for the first film, and it's expected they'd get bigger paydays for a third pic.

Brian B.