Top Gun

Top Gun Maker Paramount Sued Over Copyright Breach

Image Source: Independent

The family of the Israeli writer whose article piece was the inspiration for the 1986 Tom Cruise blockbuster Top Gun is suing Paramount Pictures for copyright infringement in the production of the sequel. 

According to the family, as of the time  the sequel Top Gun: Maverick was released last month, Paramount did not have the rights to Ehud Yonay’s 1983 article “Top Guns.” 

The film has grossed $548 million (£438 million) worldwide in its first ten days of release.

According to Paramount, the accusation and, by extension, the lawsuit lacks merit. However, it says it would be fighting the lawsuit appropriately in court. 

Cruise reprises his role as US navy aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell from the 1986 film Top Gun: Maverick. After the best-selling Spider-Man: No Way Home, second-placed Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and The Batman in third place, it had the fourth-largest opening weekend of any film in the Covid era. 

Shosh and Yuval Yonay, Ehud’s widow and son, filed the action in federal court in Los Angeles on Monday, alleging that Paramount failed to reclaim the rights to Ehud’s magazine article after it was terminated under the US Copyright Act. 

They are suing the film company for a number of unspecified damages, including claims to the revenues from Top Gun: Maverick. 

According to the lawsuit, Ehud’s “literary efforts and compelling prose and narrative” were essential to the success of Paramount’s Top Gun franchise. 

According to the lawsuit, the Yonays told Paramount in 2018 that their rights to Ehud’s piece would expire two years later. Then, according to the statement, in January 2020, the studio lost the copyright to the work. 

While speaking to BBC, Yonays’ lawyer Marc Toberoff accused Paramount of making a sequel to Top Gun after losing their copyright.

“These claims are without merit,” Paramount said in a statement. “We will vigorously defend ourselves.” 

Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, Mitra Ahouraian, a Los Angeles-based industry attorney, informed the BBC that Paramount’s intentions to produce Top Gun: Maverick in 2018 and release it in 2019 were postponed. 

“In this case, timing is critical because the notice of termination was received… with an effective date of 2020,” Ms. Ahouraian explained. 

Maverick returns to the Top Gun flight academy as an instructor responsible for training a new generation of pilots in the sequel. 

It delivered Cruise his first $100 million (£80 million) opening weekend at the box office. His previous greatest opening weekend was in 2005 when he made $64 million (£51 million) with War of the Worlds.

Opinions expressed by San Francisco Post contributors are their own.

Jennifer Smith

A social-media savvy and works as an IT consultant on a communication firm in Los Angeles. She manages her blog site and a part-time writer.

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