Paramount Pictures want a copyright lawsuit against ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ to be thrown out.
The company are being sued by the family of Ehy Yonay – the writer who penned a 1983 magazine article which the original ‘Top Gun’ was based on – but have argued that the sequel is a work of fiction and has nothing to do with the original source.
In court documents seen by People magazine, Paramount’s lawyers argued: “Any similarity between these vastly different works derives from the fact that Top Gun is an actual naval training facility.
“Plaintiffs do not have a monopoly over works about Top Gun.”
Ehud’s widow and son, Shosh and Yuval Yonay, filed their lawsuit in June and argued had 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.”
‘Top Gun: Maverick’ saw Tom 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.
A hearing has been scheduled for 26 September to go over the case.