Tracy’s on his way again. But Warren Beatty seems to have lost his.
With the venerable comic detective celebrating his 75th year, Tribune Media Services last week announced plans for a contemporized TV series to be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Outlaw’s Bobby Newmyer and Scott Strauss.
But Beatty — famed for vacillating and taking his time on projects he’s interested in — is suing Tribune to take back the rights. He’s also seeking $30 million in damages. Apparently he’s had designs on a sequel to the 1990 Tracy film he directed and starred in.
Not that anyone was expecting him to, given his track record with other high-profile pic flirtations.
Beatty invested years on a Howard Hughes biopic, planning to play the reclusive billionaire. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio got there first with “The Aviator.” Beatty was poised to play the title character in “Kill Bill” for Quentin Tarantino, only to decide with Tarantino that David Carradine better fit the part. It brought Carradine’s career back from the dead.
According to a Tribune statement, the company had no cause to believe anything was happening with the cop franchise that Chester Gould created in 1931.
Indeed, the TV deal was made after Disney relinquished rights to Tracy that had been assigned to the studio years before by Beatty. But Beatty’s lawyer Bert Fields filed a complaint in L.A. Superior Court claiming that Tribune did not follow a multi-step reversion process that included notifying Beatty.
Still, Tribune says it’s confident the matter will be settled quickly. So were Di Bonaventura and Outlaw, who say they will immediately begin a search for a show runner.