Veteran actor Warren Beatty has been given the go ahead to sue a media company over the ownership rights to DICK TRACY.
Bosses at Tribune Media Services, a unit of bankrupt newspaper publisher Tribune, took legal action against Beatty, alleging he "wrongly claims" to have exclusive motion picture and television rights to the police detective brand - even though he bought the broadcast rights in 1985.
He took on double duty when he directed and starred in the 1990 film alongside Dustin Hoffman, Madonna and Al Pacino - but new plans to turn DICk Tracy into a comic strip have stalled.
Tribune executives claim Beatty "made no productive use" of the rights for more than a decade and therefore they should revert back to Tribune.
A separate lawsuit filed by Beatty against Tribune in a California court last year (08) was put on hold as a result of the company's bankruptcy proceedings, but Delaware federal judge Kevin Carey ruled on Monday (09Nov09) that the actor could press forward with his legal action.
However, Carey refused to dismiss Tribune's case for the franchise rights.
Carey said, "Arguably, granting the stay motion to permit this dispute to move forward in the 2008 California action may very well leave nothing to do in the adversary proceeding."