‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Lawsuit: Paramount Takes Major Legal Step

by Tia Bailey

Top Gun: Maverick” was a huge box office success. However, there has been a lawsuit opened against Paramount in terms of the film.

The movie came out this past May and smashed the box office. It currently has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Top Gun: Maverick,” which stars Tom Cruise and Miles Teller, is the sequel to the 1986 film “Top Gun.” The 2022 movie synopsis reads: “After more than 30 years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. Training a detachment of graduates for a special assignment, Maverick must confront the ghosts of his past and his deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who choose to fly it.”

The lawsuit against Paramount is for copyright infringement. It claims that it “infringes on the copyright of the 1983 magazine article that was the source material for the original film,” according to Variety.

The lawsuit was filed by Shosh and Yuval Yonay. The pair are the widow and son of the writer whose article inspired the first “Top Gun” film, Ehud Yonay. Yonay died in 2012. The Yonays filed the lawsuit this past June. The argument made was that the team who made the 2022 film didn’t renew the rights to the article before moving ahead and making the sequel.

However, Paramount moved to dismiss the lawsuit. They argued that because the movie was fiction and had “almost nothing in common” with the article, they did not need to renew the rights.

However, Paramount got the rights to the article prior to moving ahead with the original film.

Paramount Hit With Lawsuit Over “Top Gun: Maverick”

The Yonays detailed all of the similarities between “Top Gun: Maverick” and Yonay’s article. Paramount does the opposite, sharing all of the things that aren’t similar between the two.

The introduction to the lawsuit reads: “Plaintiffs claim that Paramount Pictures’ 2022 blockbuster movie Top Gun: Maverick (“Maverick“) infringes their copyright in a 1983 magazine article. However, that article — which Plaintiffs tellingly do not attach to the complaint — is a non-fiction piece on the Navy Fighter Weapons School, also known as “Top Gun.” Maverick, in contrast, is a narrative action movie about a fictional veteran pilot, Maverick, who returns to Top Gun to train graduates — including one who blames Maverick for his father’s death — for an attack on an enemy installation.”

According to Variety: “The Yonays have asked for an injunction that would bar Paramount from profiting from the film, which has grossed $1.4 billion worldwide.”

The hearing will happen on September 26.