Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Beatty Holding Onto His "Dick Tracy" ...

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In the wake of the noir villains in the Frank Miller/Robert Rodriguez feature "Sin City", actor Warren "Bugsy" Beatty, director/star of the 1990 feature "DICK TRACY", based on Chester Gould's 1930's newspaper comic strip, is seeking a court ruling for the continuation of his film rights to the 'Dick Tracy' proprietary character.

Co-starring Al Pacino as 'Big Boy Caprice' and Madonna as 'Breathless Mahoney', domestic box office of Beatty's "DICK TRACY" was $100 million.

According to Beatty's reps, the Tribune Co. had assigned film, television and other rights in the 'Dick Tracy' character, to their client in a 1985 agreement. The assignment was reportedly subject to a complex, 'reversion' process, should Tribune want to recapture those rights.

Producer Lorenzo "Constantine" Di Bonaventura in association with Outlaw Productions' Bobby Newmyer/Scott Strauss has also partnered in a deal with the Tribune Co. for "Dick Tracy" to be developed into a contemporary, live-action TV series.

Di Bonaventura and company plan to approach the studios with an updated, "Smallville"-type take on the character. If the series works, they also intend to exploit the brand as a feature.

The "Dick Tracy" newspaper comic strip by Chester Gould, debuted in the Detroit Mirror in 1931 and soon appeared in the New York Daily News and Chicago Tribune. By 1937, the comic strip had an audited circulation of more than 700 newspapers.

During the 1940's, Republic Pictures produced 60 live-action, 'serial' episodes of the character, changing Tracy's profession from a police detective to an FBI agent.


Production of a UPA animated series began in 1960. ' Tracy' was voiced by Everett Sloane. Other voice actors included Paul Frees and Mel Blanc. Memorable cop characters included 'Hemlock Holmes', ''Jo Jitsu' and 'Go Go Gomez'. Villains included 'Sketch Paree' & the 'Mole', 'Flattop' & 'B. B. Eyes', 'Stooge Villa' & 'Mumbles', 'The Brow' & 'Noodles' and 'Pruneface' & 'Itchy'.