The family of the original author who penned a California Magazine article that would later form the basis for the 1986 action drama Top Gun, is now suing Paramount Pictures for reportedly profiting off the IP from the sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, despite not reacquiring the rights to the story.

The article, titled Top Guns, was written by Ehud Yonah in 1983. His widow Shosh Yonay and son Yuval Yonay applied to reclaim the copyright to the original story in 2018, and it was put in effect in 2020, months after the film completed its initial photography process in April of 2019.

The Yonays claimed that they notified the film’s producers of their pending copyright transfer in January of 2018 saying it would take effect in January 2020. The timeline of Paramount’s production process of Maverick will be critical here because it would harm the filmmaker’s cases if they performed more photography after the copyright transfer.

The Yonays have argued that the film was still shooting scenes as late as May 2021, and they are seeking unspecified damages in this suit. They are also attempting to secure a portion of the Maverick profits, and block Paramount from pursuing any more Top Gun sequels in the future.

The plaintiffs have a powerful intellectual property attorney on their side as well. Marc Toberoff is known for representing artists in legal disputes with entertainment companies using their creations. He has represented the estates of comic book artists like Jack Kirby, and co-creators of Superman Jerry Siegel and Jo Schuster, in disputes over copyright from several original comic characters.

Toberoff also represents the family of iconic musicians including Ray Charles and James Brownl

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