Actor Warren Beatty sued Tribune Co. for a second time over the comic-book detective Dick Tracy, seeking a court order to prevent the company from taking back rights to the character.
Beatty started filming a Dick Tracy television special on Nov. 8, beating a Nov. 20 deadline when Tribune could have sought to terminate his rights, the actor said in a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Los Angeles.
Tribune, based in Chicago, gave Beatty the legal rights to Dick Tracy in 1985 for movie and television projects. Beatty, who starred in the 1990 film ``Dick Tracy,'' claimed in the earlier lawsuit that Tribune didn't properly follow the contract's terms when it sought to recapture the rights.
Beatty's previous lawsuit was dismissed in November 2006, when Tribune withdrew notices to reclaim the rights, according to the new complaint. At the same time, Tribune notified Beatty that it would renew the effort to take back the rights if he hadn't begun filming a project within two years, the actor said.
Gary Weitman, a spokesman for Tribune, didn't immediately return a call to his office. Billionaire Sam Zell took the company private in December.
The case is Warren Beatty v. Tribune Media Services Inc., 08-7662, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles.)
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