Paramount Pictures Is Being Sued Over Top Gun: Maverick!

MOVIE NEWS – The heirs of Ehud Yonay, who wrote the 1983 California Magazine article that inspired Top Gun, are suing Paramount Pictures for copyright infringement.



Paramount Pictures in trouble? In just one week, Top Gun: Maverick has passed the $500 million mark and continues to break box office records worldwide. The film is already Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing domestic release and is on track to become the highest-grossing film of all time. Top Gun: Maverick is Paramount Pictures’ best box office success of the past decade, but a new lawsuit could derail the studio’s breakthrough success.

Tony Scott’s 1986 classic Top Gun was inspired by Ehud Yonay’s Top Guns article in California Magazine three years earlier.

Although Ehud is no longer alive, his wife and son, Shosh Yonay and Yuval Yonay, who live in Israel, claim that Paramount Pictures infringed copyright when it released Top Gun: Maverick. Ehud was duly credited in Top Gun, but the 2022 sequel does not mention the writer or the article that inspired the original.

Under Section 203 of the Copyright Act, authors have the right to terminate the copyright transfer after at least 35 years from the date of grant or publication of the copyright. The Yonays filed a notice in 2018 to reclaim the rights to the story, and the copyright was finally returned to them in January 2020. According to Paramount, Top Gun: Maverick was completed by 2019, but the Yonays claim that this was not until May 2021. They claim that Paramount Pictures failed to reacquire a new license for the 1983 article that inspired the original film and its “derivative” 2022 sequel.

The Yonays allege that Paramount willfully disregarded copyright law and are seeking unspecified damages, injunctive relief, and profits from Top Gun: Maverick.

They also seek an injunction prohibiting the studio from “developing, producing, or distributing the 2022 Sequel and any other derivative work based in whole or in part on the Story and/or the 1986 Film.” The Yonays are represented by Marc Toberoff, a veteran copyright and entertainment litigation attorney. He is currently involved in several significant cases involving major studios such as Marvel, as well as the long-running Friday the 13th litigation.

Paramount Pictures issued a statement in his defence (via Reuters), saying,

“These claims are without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”

Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick stars Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell and Monica Barbaro and is currently playing in theatres worldwide.

Source: Reuters

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