Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick” had another successful weekend at the box office, but the studio behind the film could be feeling the heat of a lawsuit filed Monday.
The family of the author whose article inspired the 1986 original “Top Gun” is suing Paramount Pictures for copyright infringement, saying the studio failed to buy out the rights to the article from 1983 by Ehud Yonay, “Top Guns”.
Shosh and Yuval Yonay, heirs of Ehud Yonay, say they notified Paramount in January 2018 that they would reclaim the copyright in January 2020, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles. “Maverick” began filming in May 2018.
The Yonays also allege that “Maverick” didn’t wrap production in 2019, before the copyright transfer, but rather in May 2021.
“Maverick” was originally scheduled for release in 2019 but was delayed to the following year. It was later postponed several times due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s unclear when Paramount officially finished the film, but that timeline will likely be important as the copyright lawsuit unfolds.
Representatives for Paramount did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, including some profits from “Maverick,” and to stop the studio from distributing the film or other sequels. The film has grossed more than $546 million worldwide since its release last month, according to Comscore data.
The Yonays are represented by intellectual property attorney Marc Toberoff, who specializes in copyright and entertainment litigation and has established a practice representing artists and other creators in copyright litigation. author with production companies.
He currently represents several comic book heirs seeking to end Disney’s full rights to the Marvel characters and the original “Friday the 13th” screenwriter, who is locked in a contentious battle over character owner Jason Voorhees.