Less than two weeks after Top Gun: Maverick premiered to huge box office success, the studio that released the film has been at the centre of copyright allegations.
Paramount was hit with a copyright lawsuit by the family of the author behind the original story used for the Top Gun franchise, Fox News Digital can confirm.
The Top Gun lawsuit was filed by Shosh and Yuval Yonay on Monday in California, according to The Wrap. The Yonays are the heirs of Ehud Yonay, the author of the 1983 article “Top Guns.”
The Yonays have claimed that Paramount’s rights to the article ended in 2020. The family alleged that filming for Top Gun: Maverick was not completed until May 8, 2021.
However, Paramount has reportedly claimed the film was “sufficiently completed” before its rights to the original article were terminated.
The family sent a cease-and-desist letter to Paramount on May 11, 2022, weeks before the release of Top Gun: Maverick, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“This case arises out of Paramount’s conscious failure to reacquire the requisite film and ancillary rights to the Yonays’ copyrighted Story prior to the completion and release of their derivative 2022 Sequel,” lawyer Marc Toberoff and former federal appellate judge Alex Kozinski, who are representing the Yonays, wrote.
Paramount has denied the sequel is derivative from the original article, according to the outlet.
“These claims are without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously,” a spokesman for Paramount told Fox News Digital.
Top Gun: Maverick premiered on May 27 after suffering two years of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. The film pulled in $160.5 million in the first four days.Top Gun: Maverick stayed afloat its second weekend, bringing in $86 million.
The film also marked a career best for Cruise, who had not had a film opening exceed $100 million in the first weekend. Per TMZ, Cruise is not being sued personally.
This article originally appeared on Fox News and is reproduced here with permission
Originally published as Top Gun: Maverick faces copyright lawsuit from family of original author