Beatty battles for Dick Tracy rights
Actor Warren Beatty has filed a lawsuit against Tribune Co. over the movie and television rights to the comic detective Dick Tracy, a character he played in the 1990 film of the same name.
The suit, filed in Los Angeles federal court, seeks to block Chicago-based media conglomerate Tribune from yanking those rights away from the 71-year-old actor.
"Warren has always viewed Dick Tracy as a very valuable, interesting, iconic character," Beatty's attorney Charles Shephard told the Los Angeles Times, a Tribune-owned newspaper.
"He has all sorts of creative thoughts about what he might do with this character."
Beatty has held the film and TV rights since 1985, using them to make the movie. Dick Tracy earned more than $160 million US worldwide and garnered seven Oscar nods.
Under the original agreement, rights would revert to Tribune if "a certain period of time" had passed without Beatty having produced another Dick Tracy movie, TV series or TV special.
Tribune sent Beatty a letter on Nov. 17, 2006, that gave him two years to begin shooting another Dick Tracy production.
Beatty began a Dick Tracy TV special on Nov. 8 this year, the lawsuit says, and gave Tribune written notice.
"Tribune responded by asserting that it still had the right to terminate Beatty's Tracy rights and effect a reversion, and purported to do so," the lawsuit says.
None of the lawsuit's allegations has been proven in court.