Dick Tracy, a 1990 film by Warren Beatty, has a special, nostalgic place in many fans' hearts. With its all-star cast, larger-than-life villains in creepy over-the-top makeup, and a production design that recalls nothing less than the comic strips that first brought the world's most famous (non-costumed) detective to life, Dick Tracy was anticipated to be the next big franchise hero, despite Tim Burton's classic Batmania that followed the 1966 TV series
Despite a tense summer in which at least some kids (whistles innocently) acquired action figures of weird looking gangsters in pinstripe suits, Batman ultimately was neither the most successful box office hit nor the critical darling that it was, and a sequel never came to fruition. Dick Tracy is no longer alive on the internet.
Dick Tracy hasn't been brought back to life in the last 30 years due to reboots and IP dominance. Because the last man to play Tracy also owns the film and television rights to the character. And he's not giving them up. In fact, Beatty is so intent on keeping those rights that he might (presumably) license them to someone who might actually produce a movie or television show.
Beatty appeared in a bizarre role in the 2011 Dick Tracy Special, where he was interviewed by film critic Leonard Maltin, and where "Tracy" talks about Warren Beatty as if he was someone he worked with. Dick Tracy Zooms In is a sequel to Dick Tracy Special, in which Beatty wears the yellow hat and fedora, as well as (once again) Leonard Maltin.
During a screening of the 1990 film, "Tracy" discusses its "pink streets" and "musical comedy" elements, then shows footage of Dick Tracy films from the 1930s and 1940s, which TCM had spent the night screening several of, praising them for being "real." Beatty says he waited for an important meeting to discuss these issues.
Weird, right? BUT YOU HAVE TO WAIT BECAUSE...
Warren Beatty joins the Zoom, allowing himself to be berated by...himself as Tracy repeats many of the same points. Beatty suggests that it may be time to let a younger actor play the character this time...despite the fact that this is B...oh, forget it, I am having a headache). There are also comments from Beatty about how his life has changed in recent years.
This character and his world might be resurrected for modern audiences in a multitude of ways. Is it time to bring the character back to the present day? Is it possible to make Dick Tracy a TV series this time (a good excuse to remind everyone that Beatty is the originator of we never saw Bruce Campbell as Dick Tracy in a TV series). But today is not the day. And as long as Beatty has anything to say about it, it may never come.