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Family of 'Top Gun' article writer challenges studio's copyright claim

Tom Cruise is back as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in <em>Top Gun: Maverick.</em>
Scott Garfield
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Tom Cruise is back as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick.

The family of the writer whose magazine article inspired the 1986 Tom Cruise movie "Top Gun" sued Paramount Pictures today for copyright infringement over this year's "Top Gun: Maverick" sequel.

In the lawsuit, the author's widow, Shosh Yonay, and son, Yuval Yonay, say they filed a notice four years ago reclaiming the copyright to the article, but the studio did not obtain a new license to use the material.

Ehud Yonay — whose 1983 piece about the Top Gun school at Miramar Naval Air Station for California magazine inspired the original blockbuster starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis — died in 2012.


The plaintiffs allege that Paramount failed to renew the rights to the article before releasing the "derivative" sequel, according to the complaint, filed in Los Angeles federal court.

A Paramount representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The suit seeks monetary damages and an injunction barring Paramount from distributing the film or any further sequels.

With Cruise at the helm, "Top Gun: Maverick" is this year's biggest box office hit, generating $291 million in North America and $548.6 million globally in its first 10 days of release, according to Variety.