DICK TRACY director and star Warren Beatty is facing a lawsuit over legal rights to the brand.
In a Delaware, U.S. court filing on Thursday (19Mar09), Tribune Media Services - a unit of bankrupt newspaper publisher Tribune - alleged Beatty "wrongly claims" to have exclusive motion picture and television rights to the police detective character.
Beatty bought the broadcast rights to DICk Tracy in 1985, going on to act and direct the 1990 film of the same name which also starred Madonna and Al Pacino.
According to court papers, Tribune Co. claims Beatty "made no productive use" of the rights for more than a decade and therefore they should revert back to Tribune as the franchise is potentially worth millions.
Court papers reveal that the battle for DICk Tracy has been going on since 2006, and in November last year (08) Beatty filed a suit against Tribune Media Services stating he had already begun work on a DICk Tracy television special.