Paramount hit with ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ copyright lawsuit

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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 storyline for the original “Top Gun” film was based off the article.

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.

Paramount hit with 'Top Gun: Maverick' copyright lawsuit

Paramount has been hit with a copyright lawsuit over the rights to the article "Top Guns," the basis for the original film.
(Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

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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 re-acquire the requisite film and ancillary rights to the Yonays’ copyrighted Story prior to the completion and release of their derivative 2022 Sequel,” attorney Marc Toberoff and former federal appellate judge Alex Kozinski, who are representing the Yonays, wrote.

Paramount hit with 'Top Gun: Maverick' copyright lawsuit

The original "Top Gun" was based on an article titled "Top Guns" by Ehud Yonay.
(CBS)

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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 spokesperson 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.

Paramount hit with 'Top Gun: Maverick' copyright lawsuit

Tom Cruise arrives in a helicopter to the world premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick" on May 4.
(Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

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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. 

Fox News’ Larry Fink contributed to this report

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