Becoming one of the most successful non-superhero movies of the decade, Top Gun: Maverick sees the return of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer. The film was directed by Joseph Kosinski and introduced Miles Teller as Lt. Bradley Bradshaw and Jennifer Connelly as Penny Benjamin.
Top Gun: Maverick was widely praised by fans and critics alike, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year. In typical Tom Cruise fashion, the film was filled with high-octane action scenes, most of them done practically.
Top Gun movies brought to court
The original movie was based on a 1983 magazine article written by Ehud Yonay called Top Guns and Paramount had gained the rights to the magazine in the same year for the movie Top Gun. But the copyright was terminated after 35 years in 2018, while Top Gun: Maverick was released in 2022.
Regarding the action as a violation of the Copyright Act, The Yonays sued Paramount to recover the rights as the film was completed in May 2022. Furthermore, they also contended that the company ignored the Copyright Act by showcasing the movie without crediting Ehud Yonay.
Paramount’s side of the story
In reaction to the claims, Paramount has made many counter-arguments including the fact the magazine is non-fiction writing on a real-life naval training which is not protected from copyright as copyright law states “no author may copyright his ideas or the facts he narrates.”
Paramount has also contended that they had already commenced production of the movie while they still owned the rights to Top Guns. They further stated:
“Elite fighter pilots loving to fly, and being dedicated to their craft and competitive, are facts described in the article. Plaintiffs do not have a monopoly over these (unremarkable) facts merely because Yonay once reported on them.”
The studio intends to have the suit dismissed instantly, but is prepared if the suit goes further as plaintiffs, the Yonays, will have to prove that the film was substantially similar to Top Guns rather than Top Gun.
Top Gun: Maverick is now streaming on Paramount+