Happy Birthday, Warren Beatty! You get to keep the rights to Dick Tracy. You won. The Tribune Company lost a few days ago, so it was an early birthday gift as you turn whatever years old this Wednesday, March 30th.
What was the Tribune Company thinking when it decided to go after the Academy Award-winning director anyway? Who, as it happens, is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his Oscar winning film, Reds, this year with a big April blast courtesy of Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Answer: they weren't thinking. They were so mesmerized with his wife's beauty and talent, it clouded their judgment.
As if the Tribune wasn't in enough hot water already with their bankruptcy creditors. First they dump the Chicago Cubs because they don't have enough dough to keep them, and then they take the money they saved in dumping the Cubs to go after Beatty? Maybe it didn't happen exactly that way, but to the average Joe or Josie, it sure looks like it. OK, so maybe there was some other motivation. Like, whose autograph were they really trying to get? Warren's or Annette's? Must be an easier way to do it.
If you're gonna go after Warren Beatty, why not read up on him first? Do some opposition research like the politicos do. There have been enough books written about him. It seems as if a new one comes out every decade. Dick Tracy was Beatty's boyhood hero. A guy doesn't let go of his boyhood hero so easily.
Look, Beatty's first film of any note was Splendor in the Grass about the bloom of first love with a girl from Kansas played by actress, Natalie Wood. Then a few decades or so later, in real life, he actually marries a girl from Topeka, Kansas -- Annette Bening -- and they have four kids together and live happily ever after. Beatty's not that tough to figure out. Then he goes on to win the Tribune lawsuit when the occupant of the White House is a guy who grew up in Kansas -- even though Donald Trump is now in a dispute with the ladies of The View as to where said president of the first part was actually born. Makes perfect sense.
Yes, the general public is wary of the litigious nature of our society today, yet as The Wall Street Journal pointed out once upon a time, probably 20 or 30 years ago -- who's counting -- our apparent litigation explosion is actually a direct result of corporations initiating the lawsuits, not so much the guy next door.
C'mon now. Did the Tribune actually think it had a shot in winning against an icon like Beatty in a civil lawsuit? In the state of California, no less. Heck, when celebs who are accused of murder like Robert Blake and OJ Simpson walk, do you think the trier of fact would pick the Tribune Company against Beatty? To speed things up, Beatty's attorneys should have moved it to Chicago. Miffed Cubs fans would have made short shrift of this never-ending litigation.
So happy birthday, Warren Beatty, and as you blow out those candles with the wife and kids, remember that when you wish upon a star... Oops, that's Disney.
Anyway, your public looks forward to your upcoming Dick Tracy project and hopes you can strike a deal to merchandise those Tracy two-way wristwatch radios. They would be tres cooler than the 3-D glasses hawked at the movie theaters.
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