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Spielberg, Paramount Pictures may part ways

September 21, 2007 17:39 IST

Big egos often collide in Hollywood. In this case, noted film director and producer Steven Spielberg has butted heads with the chief of Viacom which owns Paramount Pictures.

Yes, less than two years after Spielberg and his partner David Gaffen sold their company DreamWorks to Paramount for $1.6 billion, a divorce appears to inevitable as the duo are at loggerheads with 84-year-old Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone, the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday.

Both Spielberg and Gaffen have felt that they haven't received more credit within Viacom, given the success of their movies, the daily said, without revealing its sources.

"Internal power struggles, backbiting, perceived snubs and accusations of credit grabbing have

also marred the marriage," it said, cautioning that "any breakup is sure to be messy for both sides."

Geffen plans to exercise an out in his contract that frees him to leave next year and Spielberg is likely to follow him. "Stacey Snider, who runs DreamWorks, can walk if Spielberg departs," the report said.

Paramount Chairman Brad Grey had said in an interview recently, "It would always be better to have Steven and DreamWorks with us, but of course we'll be OK" if they leave.

On Tuesday, even Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman had said of the likely divorce: "We're planning for that." He had said the financial effect on Paramount and Viacom would be "completely immaterial."

However, both Speilberg and Gaffen have declined to comment.

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