Top Gun: Maverick makers Paramount sued for copyright infringement
Paramount Pictures are being sued for copyright infringement over 'Top Gun: Maverick'.
The family of the late Israeli writer Ehud Yonay are suing the studio as they claim it did not have the rights to Yonay's 1983 story 'Top Guns' – which was the inspiration for the original 1986 film that starred Tom Cruise.
The lawsuit - which was filed on Monday (06.06.22) at the Los Angeles federal court by Shosh and Yuval Yonay, the writer's widow and son – alleges that Paramount failed to reacquire the rights to Ehud's article after it was terminated under the US Copyright Act.
They are seeking unspecified damages from the studio, including profits from 'Top Gun: Maverick'.
The lawsuit claims that the 'Top Gun' franchise wouldn't have existed without Ehud's "literary efforts and evocative prose and narrative".
According to the lawsuit, the Yonays informed Paramount that the rights to the article would be terminated two years later and added that the studio lost the copyright for the piece in January 2020.
Lawyer Marc Toberoff, who is representing the Yonays, told the BBC: "Much as Paramount wants to pretend otherwise, they made a sequel to 'Top Gun' after they lost their copyright."
Paramount responded with the statement: "These claims are without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously."
LA-based entertainment attorney feels that timing will be crucial in the case as Paramount planned to release the blockbuster in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic caused several delays.
She explained: "Timing is going to be very important in this case because the notice of termination was sent... to have an effective date of 2020."
'Top Gun: Maverick' sees Cruise reprise his role as US navy pilot Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell and gave the Hollywood megastar his first $100 million opening weekend at the box office.