Top Gun: Maverick is the biggest movie at the box office right now, with audiences and critics alike praising the film. However, it looks like the movie is about to be in for some legal trouble; Paramount Pictures is being sued for alleged copyright infringement.
Did ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Violate Copyright?
Top Gun: Maverick is the long-awaited sequel to 1986’s Top Gun. The original movie was a massive hit and made an action star out of Tom Cruise. What many fans might not know is that the movie was based on a 1983 article, “Top Guns,” by Ehud Yonay.
Fast forward to 2022, and Yonay’s family is suing Paramount Pictures for copyright infringement. They claim that they contacted the studio in 2018 and said they would be reclaiming the copyright to the article that inspired the hit movie in January of 2020.
Paramount claims they finished filming the movie in 2019 before the copyright went back to Yonay’s family. However, they allege that production on Top Gun: Maverick didn’t conclude until May of 2021. Paramount is being sued for damages and a cut of the movie’s profits. The family also wants to prevent the studio from distributing the movie, or from making any more sequels.
While it’s true Top Gun: Maverick finished production sometime in the spring of 2019, director Joseph Kosinski did supervise editing and other post-production work on the film for months after, meaning that technically, they were still working on the movie after the copyright had been reclaimed.
The Intellectual Property Lawyer Who’s Taking The Case
The Yonay family has retained the services of intellectual property lawyer Marc Toberoff, who specializes in copyright issues in the entertainment industry. He is also currently representing several families of people who created Marvel comic characters who want to end Disney’s claim on them, and Victor Miller, who wrote the first Friday the 13th movie and is looking to reclaim the rights to main character Jason Voorhees.
The lawsuit has just been filed, so there’s no word yet on whether the matter will go to trial or if Yonay’s family will be willing to settle out of court. Fans of Top Gun might be enjoying the sequel, but it might be the only one they get if the Yonays win the lawsuit.