With the resurrection of long-dormant film and television properties once again being the popular thing to do in Hollywood, each week seems to bring more announcements about plans for reboots, remakes, and belated sequels to classic franchises. However, one movie most might not expect to be on the docket for a resurrection is Dick Tracy, the 1990 theatrical adaptation of the titular comic strip character that gained fame in the 1930s.
Directed, produced by, and starring legendary leading man Warren Beatty, Dick Tracy did fairly well with critics but was embraced by audiences and the industry at large. The film ultimately raked in over $160 million on a budget of less than $50 million, and won several technical Oscars.
Despite that success, Dick Tracy has faded into relative obscurity in the ensuing decades, making it kind of an odd choice for a revival. That is unless one talks to Beatty himself, who has wanted to make a sequel for years, only to find himself embroiled in a lawsuit with Tribune Media over who exactly owned the film rights to the Dick Tracy character and universe. The court battle was settled in Beatty’s favor in late 2013, but he hasn’t made any noise about a follow-up until appearing at an award ceremony held earlier today during CinemaCon.
Beatty didn’t say much about the planned Dick Tracy sequel, outside of the the fact that he’s “serious about it” and also “slow about these things.” One might be inclined to assume that the now 79-year-old actor wouldn’t be intending to reprise the title role himself, especially since he hasn’t lead a studio film since the 2001 romantic comedy Town & Country. However, with Beatty set to return to theaters playing an elderly Howard Hughes later in 2016, it definitely isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he’ll pull a Harrison Ford-like maneuver and once again don Dick Tracy‘s signature yellow trench coat before laying waste to gangsters with a tommy gun.
While only time will tell whether moviegoers will turn out to see the return of Dick Tracy, there’s no doubt the concept has potential, especially with today’s special effects capabilities presenting the opportunity to create characters even more visually impressive than the award-winning makeup work done in the original film. The real question now becomes whether Beatty will opt to star as a retirement-aged Dick Tracy or let a younger actor try and make the role his own. That said, if anyone can pull off the role of “aging badass” it’s probably Warren Beatty.
Dick Tracy 2 is in the planning stages, and has no current release date.