Just released in theaters, the sequel has already grossed more than half a billion dollars. The wife and son of Ehud Yonay, author of the article that inspired the film: Pay us the rights. The defense: The copyright has expired
Hollywood at the end of the twentieth century had an idea that is still valid (and profitable): option rights to newspaper and magazine articles. From Saturday night fever to That dog day afternoonfrom Screams of silence to All the president’s men, the idea gave birth to masterpieces and even blockbuster series like the saga of Fast and Furious. Even the Top Gun original, from 1986, was inspired by a magazine article about pilots at the San Diego base and theirs terrifying trainings just as seen in the movie; the name of the journalist of the magazine California
In fact, Ehud Yonay appeared in the credits together with those of the two screenwriters who invented the characters and the plot (the article took the setting, that was enough and advanced).
In the newly released sequel, Top Gun: Maverickthat in just ten days in theaters it has already grossed more than half a billion dollars and the name of Yonay (who died in 2012; and also the old California magazine closed, only to return years later to another publisher) is not there. Normal copyright issues? Not exactly. The reporter’s heirs sued Paramount Pictures the other day claiming that it produced and released the sequel even though – they say – it no longer owns the rights to the story.
The widow and her son, Shosh and Ehud Yonay, who live in Israel, they demand damages, a percentage of the monstrous receipts and an injunction against distribution of the new film. The lawsuit was filed in California on behalf of the family by Marc Toberoff, a lawyer specializing in the thorny American discipline of copyright. Toberoff claims that authors have the right to suspend copyright transfers after a period of 35 years: Paramount had scheduled the sequel to be released in 2020, but filming was delayed due to the pandemic. The family claims they sent Paramount a warning which was rejected. A Paramount spokesperson told a The Wrapan entertainment news site, which the cause without basis, we will vigorously defend.
certain, however, that this feature film beat what so far the highest grossing Cruise film, Mission: Impossible-Fallout of 2018 (791 million dollars). The billion-dollar wall is generally surpassed only by science fiction blockbusters, superhero comic-inspired films, or cartoons. An action movie, sequel (with the same cast, plus: only the song is missing You’ve Lost That Lovin ‘Feelin of the finale because written by Phil Spector, convicted of murder and then died in prison) 36 years later? Never happened before. The Wall Street Journal the other day in a long one and a half page report he explained how the key to success from Maverick which at the moment is minutely analyzed by all of Hollywood is all or almost in a fact that has something miraculous: more than half of the film’s box office is due to over-35sa non-strategic category for twenty years for high-grossing films all focused on films for children.