March 25, 2011 4:42pm PT by THR staff
Warren Beatty Wins Dick Tracy Lawsuit
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled in favor of actor Warren Beatty in a legal dispute with Tribune Media Services over the rights to famous crime fighter Dick Tracy.
Judge Dean D. Pregerson sided with Beatty on Thursday in the long-running dispute over the character actor portrayed in his 1990 hit film, Dick Tracy.
Beatty had sued Tribune Media, a unit of Tribune Co., back in 2008, claiming the company acted wrongly in trying to retrieve the character's rights, which it had assigned to Beatty.
Under the original 1985 agreement between the two parties, the rights to Tracy would revert to Tribune if "a certain period of time" lapsed without Beatty having produced another project.
Beatty said he began a Dick Tracy TV special on November 8, 2008, and gave Tribune written notice.
Judge Pregerson wrote that "Beatty's commencement of principal photography of his television special on November 8, 2008 was sufficient for him to retain the Dick Tracy rights."