Top Gun: Maverick Lawsuit To Be Dismissed?
Paramount has called a court ruling for a lawsuit involving Top Gun: Maverick to be dismissed, as the studio claims the plaintiffs complaint has no merit.
Top Gun: Maverick has exploded into the #1 spot for the most successful full of 2022. The film happens to also be the most successful film of Tom Cruise’s long-standing career. However, not everything about the film is good news currently. Paramount is currently being sued by plaintiffs who claim to own rights to the Top Gun franchise, as their article was sourced and used to develop the script for the original film. And since the original film sourced the article about Top Gun, the sequel’s rights should fall back to the owners of the written property. Ehud Yonay was the author of the original article, and the Yonay family is now seeking damages since the rights to the article reverted to the family in 2020. However, Paramount has stated that the only thing similar in using the article and the film was the usage of the Top Gun facility that resides in Miramar.
Paramount is planning to ensure that this case is thrown out immediately. According to Daniel Petrocelli and Molly N. Lens of O’Melveny & Myers, the law firm defending Paramount, “To the contrary, any similarity between these vastly different works derives from the fact that Top Gun is an actual naval training facility.” A representative from Paramount also told Deadline, “These claims are entirely without merit, and we will continue to vigorously defend this lawsuit.” This lawsuit might be dead before it begins, as Paramount has asked the court hearing to dismiss the case to be held on September 26th. Top Gun: Maverick is one of the highest-earning films in cinema history, and as such, the studio behind that likely have a very dedicated and high-priced legal team.
Paramount states that the Yonay family does not have a monopoly over the works of Top Gun, despite Ehud Yonay being credited on the first film. His wife and son are the plaintiffs who are seeing an unspecified amount in damages, stoppage of the distribution of Top Gun: Maverick, and further halting of planned sequels. We are not entirely sure what is to come of this lawsuit, but the family and Paramount could settle out of court. That does not seem like the option at this point, as the studio seems to be quite adamant about getting the case dismissed. The studio’s stance on the matter is the original film, and the “derivative” work of Top Gun: Maverick were not borrowed from the article. The location is the only thing that had been used in both films.
The Yonay family has sought an injunction to stop the film from being played in theaters, which might be a tough sell. Top Gun: Maverick has currently made $1.4 billion in worldwide box office numbers, and the film is still going quite strong. We would argue that if the Yonay family has the chance to win this case, they would want the film to make even more money, so they could take some of that huge profit. We aren’t an authority on legal matters, but that would make the most sense to us.
Top Gun: Maverick is still going strong in the theaters, as the film pulled in an additional $5.9 million from August 19 to August 21. Paramount clearly has no plans to stop the movie from making as much money as possible. The studio has asked for the court to make a decision to dismiss this lawsuit on September 26th, and we will certainly know more then.