Dick Tracy himself is fighting his latest battle in the courtroom instead of on the stylish and colorful streets of a 1930's Chicago. Warren Beatty, who directed and starred in the 1990 comic strip adaptation, is suing the newspaper mogul Tribune Co. to retain the rights to the Dick Tracy character.

According to Tribune, Beatty was warned in November of 2006 that he would forfeit the film and TV rights back to them if he didn't get the ball rolling on a new Dick Tracy production by the same time in 2008. Beatty waited until the last minute, but in 2008 provided “evidence” that a new TV special was under way, which appeased the judge but apparently not Tribune. Until now Tribune's Chapter 11 claims have been mumbling up the process of ironing out all the kinks, but a Delaware judge has finally ruled to move the case forward.

The Variety article is unclear whether Beatty really did start production on a new Dick Tracy adventure, but the proof he provided was enough to validate him suing Tribune to maintain the rights. I for one would love to see him back in action against the likes of Mumbles, Flattop and Little Face again, and if all goes according to plan, it might not be long before we do.

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