A federal judge has given the green light for Warren Beatty's legal battle over the rights to DICK TRACY to continue after refusing to dismiss the star's suit against the franchise's former owner.
In 2006, 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 - despite buying the broadcast rights in 1985.
The company claimed that as Beatty had not made any "productive use" of the brand, the rights should be handed back to Tribune if he failed to begin production on a new Tracy project within two years. Although the actor/director intended to follow up his 1990 film - which starred Madonna and Robert De Niro - with a TV special, the production never came to fruition.
In November (09), a judge gave the actor permission to press forward with legal action. Lawyers for Tribune demanded that the case be thrown out, while Beatty asked for the company to be penalised for seeking a dismissal.
However, U.S. District Court Judge Dean D. Pregerson decided last week (ends14Feb10) that the case should go ahead, ignoring the pleas of both parties. He said, "There is a substantial controversy between the parties warranting the issuance of a declaratory judgment".