Warren Beatty has been given the go-ahead to proceed with a lawsuit he filed in May in a battle over the film rights to Dick Tracy. Beatty, who starred in and directed the 1990 movie, plans to make a sequel to the comic book detective film, and has launched a legal battle against Tribune Media Services in order to do so.
The actor won the first stage of the legal battle on Wednesday, when US District Judge Dean Pregerson denied the company's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, explaining the case involves issues of contract interpretation and "mixed questions of fact and law" which need to be sorted through in court.
Beatty is seeking $30 million in damages and a court ruling that he controls film and other rights. According to the complaint, Beatty obtained film, television and other rights in Dick Tracy from Tribune in a 1985 agreement. Beatty claims that bosses at Tribune then moved to reclaim the rights in 2002, in violation of various notification procedures, and have now "clouded the title" to the rights and made it "commercially impossible" for him to produce a sequel. The first Dick Tracy film was the ninth highest grossing for 1990, raking in $100 million that year.