Actor/director Warren Beatty's long legal battle with Tribune Company over the rights to the character Dick Tracy revealed an interesting kernel of information on what might be Beatty's next film project -- a documentary on the comic strip detective. Tribune Co. tried to claim the Dick Tracy rights as an asset in a recent bankruptcy hearing, but Beatty holds the rights to the character as long as he makes "productive use" of the property. It's a sweet deal for Beatty and an absolute nightmare for Tribune Co., as the wording of the agreement doesn't seem to put any time table on when the agreement expires.
This isn't the first time Tribune has tried to wrest control of their character from Beatty. in 2005, Beatty announced that he was interested in pursuing a Dick Tracy sequel/reboot/remake/cash grab with the apparent intention of getting Tribune off his back over the rights. It's been almost five years since that announcement, and obviously it hasn't happened yet, however it doesn't seem to be stopping Beatty from making up new, seemingly off-the-cuff Dick Tracy projects to thwart Tribune's demands.