The family of the author whose article inspired the 1986 Tom Cruise movie Top Gun on Monday sued Paramount Pictures for copyright infringement over this year’s blockbuster sequel Top Gun: Maverick.
According to a complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court, the Paramount Global unit failed to reacquire the rights to Ehud Yonay’s 1983 article “Top Guns”, which appeared in a 1983 issue of California magazine, from his family before releasing the “derivative” sequel.
Shosh Yonay and Yuval Yonay, who live in Israel and are respectively Ehud’s widow and son, said Paramount deliberately ignored that the copyright reverted to them in January 2020, “thumbing its nose” at federal copyright law. Paramount did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, including some profits from Top Gun: Maverick, and to block Paramount from distributing the movie or further sequels.
Top Gun: Maverick is this year’s biggest box office hit, generating $291m (£232m) in North America and $548.6m (£438m) globally in its first 10 days of release.
According to Deadline, a spokesperson for Paramount responded by saying: “These claims are without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”