Warren Beatty Eyes Dick Tracy, Sues Tribune Media For Rights

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By: E&P Staff

Warren Beatty has sued Tribune Media Services for $30 millon, saying it had violated an agreement to give the actor rights to make another movie featuring comic character Dick Tracy.

Beatty, in a 1985 deal, gained the rights to play Tracy in the color-saturated movie of that name, made by Disney, that also featured Madonna. It got mixed reviews in 1990 but made over $100 million. Beatty was required to give it back at the company’s request, under several conditions and following a two-year notification process.

In 2002, according to Beatty’s lawsuit in Superior Court in Los Angeles, Tribune Media Services (part of the Tribune Co.) took back control of Tracy and notified Disney, but not, Beatty claims, through the process outlined in the agreement.

Disney rejected Tribune’s claim and gave Beatty, now 68, back most of the rights this month, his attorney Bertram Fields said Monday. “It was very carefully done and they just ignored it,” Fields told the Associated Press. “The Tribune is a big, powerful company and they think they can just run roughshod over people. They picked the wrong guy.”

Steve Tippie, vice president of marketing and licensing for Tribune Media Services, said he had not yet seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

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