Top Gun was released on May 16, 1986 and eventually became a pop culture success. Few films appeared as definite as a sequel to the 1986 hit “Top Gun” in an industry rife with uncertainty. Paramount recently got sued over “Top Gun: Maverick.”
The family of the author whose article inspired the 1986 Tom Cruise film “Top Gun” filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Paramount Pictures for the blockbuster sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.” The Paramount Global (PARA.O) unit failed to reclaim the rights to Ehud Yonay’s 1983 article “Top Guns” from the Yonay family before releasing the “derivative” sequel, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles.
Shosh Yonay and Yuval Yonay, who live in Israel and are Ehud’s widow and son, have filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages, including income from “Top Gun: Maverick,” as well as a ban on the film’s distribution and any sequels. Requests for comment were not immediately returned by Paramount.
In its first ten days of release, “Top Gun: Maverick” grossed $291 million in North America and $548.6 million worldwide, making it the year’s biggest box office hit. Cruise reprises his role as US Navy test pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the high-flying action film directed by Joseph Kosinski, which has received positive reviews. It has already surpassed 2005’s “War of the Worlds” as Cruise’s highest-grossing film in the United States.
According to the lawsuit filed on Monday, Paramount got exclusive movie rights to “Top Guns,” which was first published in the May 1983 issue of California magazine, before filming the 1986 remake, and even gave credit. The Yonays, on the other hand, claim that Paramount purposefully ignored how the copyright reverted to them in January 2020, therefore “snubbing” federal copyright law. The Yonays claimed they submitted a cease-and-desist letter to Paramount on May 11 and received a response from the studio denying that the sequel was based on the 1983 piece.
They also claimed that in a “disingenuous attempt” to qualify for an exception to their claim, Paramount claimed that the sequel was “sufficiently completed” by the time the copyright reverted. The sequel was finished in May 2021, according to the Yonays. The Yonays’ lawyers did not reply to requests for comment right away. A woman who introduced herself as Shosh Yonay and said her son’s name was Yuval declined to comment when reached by phone.
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