A ‘Dick Tracy’ Sequel Will Never Happen, but Let’s Pretend for a Moment

We're guessing Madonna won't be in the sequel. Ethan Miller/Getty Images
We're guessing Madonna won't be in the sequel. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

When "Dick Tracy" came out in the summer of 1990, we were excited. Comic book movie! But because of "Batman" the year before, we had a certain impression about what comic book movies were supposed to be like: dark and cool and hip. "Dick Tracy" wasn't any of those things. Directed and produced by Warren Beatty (who also played Tracy), the movie was intentionally square and wholesome, reflecting a bygone hero of clear heroes and villains. Also, technically speaking, "Dick Tracy" wasn't even a comic book movie: Chester Gould's creation began as a comic strip, which had to appeal to family-friendly newspapers. We thought "Dick Tracy" looked amazing with its bright colors and sharp production design, but we were bored. (We wonder if our adult selves would appreciate it more.)

Why did we spend a paragraph reminiscing about a 21-year-old movie? We figured it's the least we could do since it seems that Beatty has spent just about every minute since releasing the movie thinking about it. More than that, though, he wants to make a sequel. He's been talking about it for years. This will never happen, but it's fun to hear him muse out loud about it.

Last night at the superhero-centric Hero Complex Film Festival in Los Angeles, Beatty was on hand to discuss "Dick Tracy," which was the opening night film. And he said that he is developing a "Tracy" sequel, although he didn't want to give out details. Here's what the Los Angeles Times, which is sponsoring the festival, quoted him as saying:

"I think it's dumb to talk about movies before you make them," Beatty said. "I just don't do it. It gives you a reason to avoid making them."

And that's the problem. A notoriously deliberate person, Beatty hasn't starred in a movie in 10 years, and that was "Town & Country," so should it even count as a movie? He last directed a film, "Bulworth," 13 years ago. But here's the toughest thing: He's 74. He is not a young man. And while there might be interest in a "Dick Tracy" reboot, it seems unlikely there's a huge clamoring to see a man only six years younger than the Dick Tracy property itself make a sequel to a 21-year-old movie that's fallen out of the public consciousness.

But we needn't worry. There are so many reasons this sequel will never, ever happen. One of them is Beatty himself. Here's what he had to say about his own hesitation to commit to the demanding process of making a film:

"I always think of making a movie like vomiting. I don't like to vomit, but I get to the point where I think, 'I'd better go ahead and do this, and I'll feel better.'"

Seriously, Mr. Beatty, enjoy your retirement. You're an industry icon. You have a great wife. You don't need "Dick Tracy 2." And, honestly, the world probably doesn't either.

Warren Beatty still flirting with 'Dick Tracy' sequel [updated] [Hero Complex/Los Angeles Times]