Warren Beatty Wins Dick Tracy Dispute

Warren Beatty was ruled in favor by a US District Judge to retain the rights to comic-strip detective Dick Tracy.

The actor won the lawsuit he had filed against Tribune Co. from reclaiming the television and movie rights to the fictional crime stopper.

Beatty got the rights to Dick Tracy in a 1985 agreement between the actor and Tribune. Beatty portrayed the detective in his 1990 film, "Dick Tracy," which co-starred Madonna and earned more than $160 million at the box office.

Under the original agreement the rights would revert to Tribune if a certain period of time lapsed without Beatty having produced another Dick Tracy movie, TV series or TV special.

On November 17, 2006, Beatty was sent a letter by Tribune informing him he had two years to begin a Dick Tracy project to retain rights to the character. Beatty said he began a Dick Tracy TV special on November 8, 2008, and gave Tribune written notice.

Tribune responded to the notice that it still had the right to terminate Beatty's rights, which initiated Beatty's lawsuit. Tribune counter-filed to seek summary judgment in his favor.

US District Judge Dean Pregerson ruled yesterday that the TV special Beatty filmed, in which he was interviewed while dressed as Dick Tracy, satisfied the agreement clause.

"Beatty's commencement of principal photography of his television special on November 8, 2008 was sufficient for him to retain the Dick Tracy rights," Judge Pregerson wrote in his judgment.

The court found that Warren did everything that was required of him to retain the rights, Beattys lawyer, Charles Shephard, said after the ruling.

At the present time, we are reviewing the judges opinion and evaluating our options, a Tribune spokesman, Gary Weitman, said in a statement.

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