In news of the slightly absurd, Warren Beatty won a long court battle today over the rights to Dick Tracy. As you may or may not know, Beatty loves the Tracy franchise and has hoped to make more films about the character, despite the mild box office of his 1990 film. In recent years he’s been unable to do anything with Dick Tracy because of the legal hold ups.
Warren Beatty has managed to retain the TV and movie rights to the Dick Tracy franchise. Beatty sued Tribune Co. in 2009 over the rights when Tribune tried to take them back from him after Beatty purchased the rights in the 1980s. A U.S. District Judge granted Beatty the rights, saying that a small television program he did with Leonard Maltin was enough activity for him to retain the franchise.
Beatty starred as Tracy in a 1990 big-budget film.
Beatty himself turns 74 at the end of this month, so it seems unlikely if he does decide to put the character back to film, that he’d star. The question is, where would a Dick Tracy film even go these days? The original movie was an all star cast and despite some minor grievances here or there, really did a lot with the character. Would Beatty try to modernize the character or would he try to take a Zach Snyder route of making the film even more like a “living” comic book?
That was something that was tried to mixed success in the original 1990 film. This lawsuit victory gives us more questions than answers, but it finally does allow Warren Beatty to do something, anything, with the franchise. Who would you like to see in a Dick Tracy film and how would you like to see it done?