The producers of Top Gun: Maverick were hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit on Monday.
Shosh Yonay and Yuval Yonay, the widow and son of the author who inspired the original Top Gun movie, have filed a lawsuit over the new film – the sequel to 1986’s Top Gun.
Deadline reports that the original film was inspired by Ehud Yonay’s May 1983 California magazine Top Guns article about the pilots and the program “located in a second floor office cube at the east end of the Hangar One in Miramar”. The play was optioned and Yonay was quoted in the credits of Top Gun.
The Yonays claim rights to the story that reverted to them in January 2020.
In a lawsuit in federal court in California, the Yonays alleged that Paramount bosses “knowingly failed to obtain a new film license and incidental rights in the copyrighted story.”
They further called Top Gun: Maverick a “derivative”, alleging that the studio “is flouting the law” that allows their rights to a story to end after 35 years.
While court documents obtained by Deadline don’t reveal how much money the Yonays are seeking in damages, they said an injunction to halt screenings and distribution of Top Gun: Maverick was in order.
In response to the lawsuit, a Paramount spokesperson commented, “These allegations are without merit, and we will vigorously defend ourselves.”
Top Gun: Maverick, starring Tom Cruise and Miles Teller, is out in theaters now.