Tom Cruise breaks box office records with Top Gun: Maverick. Now others want to earn money too. The heirs of the author, on whose article the predecessor was based, claim damages. According to them, Paramount Pictures doesn't even own the rights to the story.
The new flying action Top Gun: Maverick, starring Tom Cruise, is a box office success. The blockbuster from the film production company Paramount Pictures was apparently released without valid rights. At least that is what is claimed in a lawsuit filed on Monday, which is available to the US broadcaster CNN.
According to the industry magazine The Hollywood Reporter, the predecessor "Top Gun" from 1986 was based on an article by Ehud Yonay that appeared in "California" magazine in 1983 under the title "Top Guns". . The author's heirs now claim that US copyright law makes it possible to withdraw the rights to a work after a period of 35 years.
Paramount acquired the license in 1983, but the Yonays said they regained the rights to the story in January 2020. The studio knew it no longer owned the license for the source material for Top Gun, but released the new action flick anyway. Now, among other things, the question arises as to whether the shooting was largely completed when the rights were still with Paramount - and whether the license is even necessary to tell the new story.
According to Variety, the family is demanding damages and that Top Gun: Maverick will no longer be shown. "These allegations are unfounded and we will vigorously defend ourselves," Paramount said in a statement. According to the industry magazine, Cruise's box office hit has already brought in more than 550 million US dollars internationally, the equivalent of around 515 million euros. In North America alone, almost 295 million dollars, around 276 million euros, have been taken.