Top Gun filmmakers sued over sequel

Did you know that the original Top Gun movie, starring Tom Cruise, was based on a magazine story? It seems quite possible that Paramount Pictures, in making this year's Top Gun: Maverick, did not know this. The estate of author Ehud Yonay, author of a 1983 article titled Top Guns, is suing them for copyright infringement.

The lawsuit said that in 2018, the Yonays informed Paramount that its rights to Ehud's article would be terminated two years later. It added that the studio lost the copyright for the piece in January 2020. "Much as Paramount wants to pretend otherwise, they made a sequel to Top Gun after they lost their copyright," lawyer Marc Toberoff, who is representing the Yonays, told the BBC.

I have a hunch the story here is "we only licensed this story because we wanted to use the title and theme and our new lawyers say those things aren't copyrightable," but the thing about contracts is there's only one thing that makes them disappear.