Paramount Pictures Files Motion to Dismiss Top Gun: Maverick Copyright Lawsuit

·3 min read
Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.
Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.


Paramount Pictures filed a motion on Friday to throw out the copyright lawsuit against Top Gun: Maverick.

The production company is currently being sued by the family of the writer who penned the original 1983 magazine article that 1986's Top Gun is based on.

In the motion, which was seen by PEOPLE, Paramount states that the sequel is a work of fiction and is not related to the article. "Any similarity between these vastly different works derives from the fact that Top Gun is an actual naval training facility," the studio's lawyers said. "Plaintiffs do not have a monopoly over works about Top Gun."

Paramount had previously obtained the film rights to author Ehu Yonay's article for the original Top Gun. A hearing is now set for Sept. 26 to go over the case.

RELATED: Top Gun: Maverick Studio Sued Over Copyright by Family of Writer Whose Story Original Film Is Based On

Shosh and Yuval Yonay, the self-declared "heirs" of author Ehu, accused the studio of a "conscious failure to re-acquire the requisite film and ancillary rights to the Yonays' copyrighted Story prior to the completion and release of their derivative 2022 sequel" in a suit filed in June in Los Angeles federal court.

The plaintiffs alleged that Paramount violated the copyright by completing the sequel — Top Gun: Maverick, which was released on May 27, 2022 — in May 2021, more than a year after the copyright to the story had "reverted to the Yonays under the Copyright Act" in January 2020.

"Paramount deliberately ignored this, thumbing its nose at the statute," read the document, which was obtained by PEOPLE at the time.

The Yonays are seeking unspecified damages, "including pre-judgment interest they sustained and will sustain, and any income, gains, profits, and advantages obtained by Paramount as a result of its wrongful acts alleged" as outlined in the document, as well as "maximum statutory damages recoverable" and their attorneys' fees.

In a prior statement, Paramount said: "These claims are without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously."

Things We're Looking Forward to in 2022 - TOP GUN: MAVERICK
Things We're Looking Forward to in 2022 - TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Scott Garfield/Paramount Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

RELATED: Tom Cruise Reacts to Top Gun: Maverick's 'Historic' Opening Weekend: 'Thank You'

Maverick picks up 30 years after Pete "Maverick" Mitchell's (Tom Cruise) graduation from TOPGUN Naval aviation program, when he is called back as an instructor for the elite fliers.

Director Joe Kosinski told Polygon that giving Cruise, 60, "an emotional reason to return to" his iconic character more than three decades later "was honestly the element that really grabbed Tom," after an initial hesitance to make another Top Gun film.

RELATED VIDEO: Tom Cruise and Top Gun: Maverick Cast Describe Movie's 'Grueling' and 'Intense' G-Force Stuns

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"The second thing was, what's Maverick been doing?" added Kosinski, 48. "And this is kind of my own passion, you know, coming through and pitching the Darkstar sequence [in the beginning], just being someone who has always loved airplanes and aerospace and studied aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering and loved The Right Stuff."

RELATED: Tom Cruise Wows at Cannes for 'Top Gun: Maverick' Premiere: 'I Make Movies for the Big Screen'

"So the idea of finding him as a test pilot on the bleeding edge of what's possible seemed to me like the perfect way to find him, and Tom loved that," the director said.