Image Source: Independent
The family of the Israeli writer whose article inspired the 1986 Tom Cruise film Top Gun is suing Paramount studio for copyright infringement over the sequel, Maverick. According to the family, when the sequel was released last month, the studio didn’t have the rights to Ehud Yonay’s 1983 tale “Top Guns.”
The sequel has grossed $548 million (£438 million) in its first ten days on the market and has seen an increase in the profile and standing of Paramount studio and every member of the Top Gun: Maverick project.
While responding to the accusation and the lawsuit, Paramount said the accusation lacks merit but is determined to fight it to a reasonable conclusion.
Cruise reprises his role as US navy aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell from the 1986 film Top Gun: Maverick in Top Gun: Maverick. It had the fourth-best opening weekend of any film in the Covid era, trailing only Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and The Batman.
Shosh and Yuval Yonay, Ehud’s widow and son, filed the complaint on Monday in federal court in Los Angeles, alleging that Paramount failed to reclaim the rights to Ehud’s magazine piece after it was terminated under the US Copyright Act.
They are suing the movie company for undisclosed damages, including revenues from Top Gun: Maverick.
According to the lawsuit, Ehud’s “literary efforts and captivating prose and narrative” were crucial to the success of Paramount’s Top Gun franchise.
According to the lawsuit, the Yonays notified Paramount in 2018 that their rights to Ehud’s piece would be revoked two years later. According to the statement, the studio lost the copyright to the work in January 2020.
“Despite what Paramount wants you to believe, they made a sequel to Top Gun after they lost their rights,” Yonays lawyer Marc Toberoff told the BBC.
“These charges are without substance,” Paramount stated in a statement, “and we will firmly defend ourselves.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused Paramount’s intentions to produce Top Gun: Maverick in 2018 and distribute it in 2019 to be postponed, according to Mitra Ahouraian, a Los Angeles-based industry attorney.
“In this situation, timing will be critical because the notice of termination was received… with an effective date of 2020,” Ms. Ahouraian explained.
Maverick returns to the Top Gun flight school as an instructor in charge of educating a new generation of pilots in the sequel.
It delivered Tom Cruise his first $100 million (£80 million) opening weekend at the box office. His previous greatest opening weekend was in 2005 when War of the Worlds grossed $64 million (£51 million).