Hey, every cartoon property is getting a movie. Why not Dick Tracy? It has name recognition, but not enough hardcore fanboys to adequately pester a filmmaker who will potentially ruin the franchise. Sounds like a carefree ride to the reboot money bank for whoever has the rights. Well, that’s the problem.
Actor Warren Beatty got the rights to the Pruneface-fighting comic strip detective from Tribune Media Services back in 1985, with the stipulation that if he didn’t utilize the rights (make a TV show or movie) for “a certain period of time,” the rights would revert back to Tribune. Then he made that movie with Madonna in 1990, Dick Something, and then ignored the property for 18 years – until Tribune reminded him a few years ago that he had to use the rights or lose ‘em.
So Beatty started making a Dick Tracy TV special in 2008, but it never was finished and never aired. Tribune was like, “that totally doesn’t count, asshole.” But U.S. District Court Judge Dean D. Pregerson told Tribune they were the assholes, because Beatty gets to keep the rights.
So what’ll he do with the rights to Dick Tracy now? Eh, probably ignore them for another decade or two. Who cares? (Hollywood Reporter)