Top Gun Actor Sues Over Use In Maverick Sequel

By Britta DeVore | Published

top gun sued top gun 3
  • Barry Tubb is suing Paramount for use of his likeness in Top Gun: Maverick
  • Tubb appeared in the original movie as Wolfman
  • The scene in question involves looking back at a picture from the first movie

Audiences and Steven Spielberg alike were thrilled to see the high-flying success of a sequel three decades in the making when Top Gun: Maverick soared into theaters during the summer of 2022. However, not everyone was happy about the outcome.

Barry Tubb Suing For Top Gun Role

It was all high fives and fist pumps over at Paramount Pictures as they watched the box office numbers grow and grow. But Barry Tubb, the actor who appeared as Leonard “Wolfman” Wolfe in the 1986 movie that started it all, Top Gun, is hoping to take some of that cash for himself.

Tubb has launched a lawsuit against the production company over allegations of unauthorized use of his likeness in the follow-up feature.

Looking Back At Original Top Gun

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The filing comes down to a very specific moment during Top Gun: Maverick when Hangman (Glen Powell) and Coyote (Greg Tarzan Davis) first discover that Rooster Bradshaw (Miles Teller) is the son of the late Goose (Anthony Edwards).

The two men are looking at old pictures from Top Gun classes of days past, when they stumble upon the information in a shot of Iceman (Val Kilmer), Maverick (Tom Cruise), Goose, and Wolfman. 

Paramount Has Not Responded

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Though Paramount has yet to respond to the allegations filed by the Top Gun alum, Tubb and his team have a pretty solid leg to stand on. They claim that the image is a behind-the-scenes picture of the stars.

If this is found to be true, it would take away any copyright holding that the studio would have over it. Furthermore, Tubb and his legal affiliates say that no one over at Paramount “sought consent or authority to use plaintiff’s image for any purpose” in the sequel production. 

Headed To Trial?

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The timing for Tubb’s filing could be seen as odd, as the high-octane feature landed in cinemas almost two full years ago.

However, as we know, the wheels of justice turn slowly, so the Top Gun actor could have been carefully compiling his case with his attorneys to achieve the maximum chance that it would go to court.

Should it end up doing such, Tubb is pushing for a trial by jury that would see him pushing for a yet-to-be-revealed sum of money for compensatory and punitive damages. 

Top Gun: Maverick Was A Box Office Smash

favorite movie Top Gun: Maverick

Depending on the total cost being sought by Tubb, Paramount may just hand it over as they’ve cashed in nearly $1.5 billion at the global box office during Top Gun: Maverick’s time in cinemas.

The movie broke records for its co-leading man, Tom Cruise, going down as the highest-grossing title of his career which is an impressive feat for a man who has been behind such juggernauts as The Last Samurai, War of the Worlds, and the sprawling Mission: Impossible franchise.

Top Gun: Maverick Explores The Past

tom cruise top gun: maverick

In Top Gun: Maverick, ghosts from Maverick’s (Cruise) past come back to haunt him after the son (Teller) of his deceased best friend and naval aviator (Edwards) arrives on the base and under Maverick’s guidance.

Although the pair clash at first, they come to trust one another, all while embarking on a top-secret mission with the rest of the new flight crew.

Lucky for Top Gun fans, the franchise will continue to move forward as a third installment is on the way, which is expected to center more on the character of Rooster, and will likely feature return performances from Cruise, Teller, and Powell, among others.