fbpx

Paramount Prevails in TOP GUN: MAVERICK Copyright Lawsuit

Photo from TOP GUN movie’s Instagram

Paramount Prevails in TOP GUN: MAVERICK Copyright Lawsuit

By Movieguide® Contributor

A judge recently dismissed a lawsuit about TOP GUN: MAVERICK, which claimed Paramount had breached copyright law by creating the sequel without crediting the author of the original magazine article the first movie was based on.

“Although the plots of both the Article and the Sequel feature Top Gun and various graduates and instructors, Top Gun is a real fighter pilot school and the graduates and instructors mentioned in the Article are real people,” the ruling said. “Those factual elements are not protected by copyright law.”

“The pacing and sequence of events in the Works are also not similar,” the ruling continued. “The Article is structured in a non-linear fashion, shifting back and forth between describing Yogi and Possum’s training, their backgrounds, the technical aspects of F-14 fighter jets, etc. The Sequel, on the other hand, proceeds in a linear fashion and has a consistent pace.”

Furthermore, the judge ruled that the characters, setting and themes of the article and the sequel differed significantly, and any similarities were based on facts, something not protected under copyright law.

This ruling is significant for TOP GUN fans as the lawsuit could have hurt the chances of a third movie in the franchise. MAVERICK co-writer Ehren Kruger and director Joe Kosinski are currently in talks about creating another TOP GUN movie.

Following the judge’s ruling, the plaintiffs announced they would be appealing the decision as they still believe they deserve compensation and crediting for the sequel.

“Once Yonay’s widow and son exercised their rights under the Copyright Act to reclaim his exhilarating Story, Paramount hand-waved them away exclaiming ‘What copyright?’ It’s not a good look,” the plaintiff’s attorney said.

This copyright lawsuit is not the only legal trouble TOP GUN: MAVERICK has faced since releasing in 2022.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Barry Tubb, who played Leonard “Wolfman” Wolfe in 1986’s TOP GUN, has filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures for using his likeness in 2022’s widely successful TOP GUN: MAVERICK without his permission.

“[Paramount] never sought consent or authority to use [Tubb’s] image for any purpose in TOP GUN: MAVERICK and the original contract signed by the plaintiff and Paramount did not contemplate the use of his image beyond the original TOP GUN or in promotions related to TOP GUN: MAVERICK; a sequel not contemplated at the time of the original contract and not released until 2022, almost four decades after the original TOP GUN,” Tubb’s complaint said, per Entertainment Weekly.

The scene in question features a close-up shot of a photograph of Wolfman along with Iceman (Val Kilmer), Goose (Anthony Edwards) and Maverick (Tom Cruise). According to the complaint, Tubb’s likeness in that scene “is essential in a way that is not incidental.” Furthermore, the photograph used was an altered image of a behind-the-scenes photo from the original movie, which would not be covered by the original movie’s copyright.

4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.