TOP GUN Actor Sues Paramount for Unauthorized Use of Likeness in Sequel

Photo from TOP GUN EPK

TOP GUN Actor Sues Paramount for Unauthorized Use of Likeness in Sequel

By Movieguide® Contributor

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.

“[Tubb] never agreed to Paramount’s use of his image, likeness, and/or identity in the movie TOP GUN: MAVERICK. Paramount’s conduct is therefore misleading and deceptive by falsely and fraudulently representing that plaintiff is somehow affiliated with TOP GUN: MAVERICK; was contracted to perform in TOP GUN: MAVERICK; or was hired to promote, advertise, market, or endorse TOP GUN: MAVERICK on behalf of Paramount,” the complaint continued.

Despite TOP GUN: MAVERICK’s impressive success at the box office, Paramount has refused to offer Tubb any compensation for the use of his image, leading to the court filing. While Tubb ultimately wants to leave the decision up to a jury, his lawyers state that he should be compensated at least $75,000 for damages.

While Tubb has yet to make a public statement, his lawyers said on his behalf, “[Tubb] believes the lawsuit and the exhibit speaks for him. He’s disappointed that it had to come to this, but trusts that the legal process will produce a result.”

Movieguide® previously reported on TOP GUN: MAVERICK:

TOP GUN: MAVERICK has set a new record! 

The movie starring Tom Cruise as Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell just passed $600 million in North American ticket sales—a milestone that only 12 other movies have ever reached. 

TOP GUN: MAVERICK is still in theaters, and is hugely popular, so it seems likely the movie will keep moving up the list of highest-grossing movies. 

Paramount Pictures is also celebrating because TOP GUN: MAVERICK has surpassed the first run of TITANIC, making it the studio’s highest-grossing film in its 110 years of making movies.