Top Gun: Maverick producers hit with copyright lawsuit

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The producers of Top Gun: Maverick were hit with a copyright lawsuit on Monday.

Shosh Yonay and Yuval Yonay, the widow and son of the author who inspired the original Top Gun film, have instigated legal action in regards to the new film - the sequel to 1986's Top Gun.

Deadline reports that the original movie was inspired by Ehud Yonay's May 1983 California magazine article, Top Guns, on the pilots and programme "located in a second-floor cubby of offices at the east end of Hangar One at Miramar". The piece was optioned and Yonay was cited in the credits of Top Gun.

The Yonays claim the rights to the story reverted back to them in January 2020.

In a lawsuit submitted to California federal court, the Yonays alleged Paramount bosses "consciously failed to secure a new licence of film and ancillary rights in the copyrighted story".

They further labelled Top Gun: Maverick "derivative", alleging that the studio is "thumbing their nose at the statute" that allows for termination of their rights to a story after 35 years.

While court documents obtained by Deadline do not reveal how much money the Yonays are seeking in damages, they did state that an injunction to stop screenings and distribution of Top Gun: Maverick was in order.

In response to the lawsuit, a Paramount spokesperson commented: "These claims are without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously."

Top Gun: Maverick, starring Tom Cruise and Miles Teller, is now showing in cinemas.

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