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Warren Beatty wants to control 'Dick Tracy'

November 21, 2008 | 11:40 am

Dick Here’s something to shout into your two-way wrist radio: Actor Warren Beatty has filed a federal suit for control of comic-strip detective Dick Tracy.

The film idol bought rights to the character two decades ago from the Tribune Company in order to make his 1990 hit movie version of the square-jawed, tough-talking gumshoe. The sale allowed Tribune, the original publishers of the classic strip, to take back the rights if Beatty didn’t film another project.

Tribune, which owns the Los Angeles Times, recently sent Beatty a letter saying time is up and it is reasserting control of the character. But the actor claims he should retain the rights because he started filming a Dick Tracy TV special earlier this month.

His attorney declined to say where or when the program will air, but insists the 71-year-old is far from done with the detective.

“Warren has always viewed Dick Tracy as a very valuable, interesting iconic character,” said attorney  Charles Shephard. “He has all sorts of creative thoughts about what he might do with this character.”

A representative from Tribune did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

-- Harriet Ryan