Beattyseeks rights to character, $30 million in damages

This article was updated on Aug. 12, 2005.

Dick Tracy’s on his way … to court.

A ruling last week by U.S. district judge Dean Pregerson cleared the way for Warren Beatty to sue the Tribune Co. over film rights to “Dick Tracy.”

Beatty acquired rights to the cartoon crimefighter from Tribune in 1985 to make his 1990 tentpole.

Maintaining that Tribune did not properly reacquire the rights, Beatty is asking for $30 million in damages plus a judgment that he still owns movie and other rights.

Pregerson ruled the case should go forward because it raises issues of fact and law that can’t yet be resolved.

Beatty’s complaint, filed May 13, said Tribune’s claims of ownership have made it “commercially impossible” to mount any new “Tracy” projects.

A new “Dick Tracy” film, though, doesn’t appear to be something Disney execs have been clamoring for.

Beatty’s 1990 pic, released by Touchstone, had a budget estimated at $47 million. Pic grossed $104 million in the U.S. and $55 million abroad.

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