Studio behind Tom Cruise blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick sued over copyright 2 months ago

Studio behind Tom Cruise blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick sued over copyright

The original 1983 author's estate is suing the studio for copyright infringement

Paramount Pictures is being hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit following the release of Top Gun: Maverick.

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The hugely popular and already critically acclaimed Top Gun sequel which was released on May 24 has been a box-office smash, marking Tom Cruise's first $100m+ opening weekend and already his highest-grossing film ever.

However, some of that studio revenue could be knocked off the net total as Paramount is now being sued by the estate of Ehud Yonay, the original author of the 1983 "Top Guns" article in California Magazine and the story which was inspired by a real-life pilot and air base.

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Yonay died of brain cancer in back 2012 at age of 71 but the Israeli's writer wife and son, Shosh and Yuval, are now taking the American film and TV corporation to court after they reportedly breached copyright. In a complaint filed at the Los Angeles federal court on Monday, they are seeking damages - including a share of the overall profits, as per Reuters.

The team representing the now-deceased journalist's family allege that Paramount failed to re-acquire the rights to Yonay's magazine article after it was ultimately terminated under the US Copyright Act and that what is now considered a franchise would not have existed without Ehud's "literary efforts and evocative prose and narrative".

Top Gun lawsuit Credit: California Magazine/ Paramount
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Despite having secured the initial rights for the original 1986 film, court papers reveal that they informed Paramount in 2018 that they would be losing the license in two years' time and, sure enough, the studio's copyright agreement was terminated in January 2020. Nevertheless, they went on to make the long-awaited 2022 sequel anyway.

Paramount has responded by stating: "These claims are without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously." Moreover, LA-based entertainment Mitra Ahouraian told the BBC that they initially planned to make the film in 2018 and release it in 2019 but were delayed because of the pandemic.

We recently got the chance to speak to some of the cast about what it's like to work with "one of the last movie stars":

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