Barry Tubb Sues Paramount Over Unauthorized Likeness Use in “Top Gun: Maverick”

Barry Tubb Sues Paramount Over Unauthorized Likeness Use in “Top Gun: Maverick”

Barry Tubb Sues Paramount Over Unauthorized Likeness Use in “Top Gun: Maverick”

Barry Tubb, the actor known for his role as Leonard “Wolfman” Wolfe in the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun, is howling at Paramount Pictures over what he claims is the unauthorized use of his likeness in the hit sequel, Top Gun: Maverick. Tubb has launched legal action against Paramount regarding the decision to include his likeness in a Top Gun: Maverick scene.

The scene features Hangman (Glen Powell) and Coyote (Greg Tarzan Davis) discovering that Rooster Bradshaw (Miles Teller) is the son of the late Goose (Anthony Edwards) when they come upon an old photo of Iceman (Val Kilmer), Goose, Maverick (Tom Cruise), and Wolfman.

Barry Tubb Sues Paramount Over Unauthorized Likeness Use in “Top Gun: Maverick”

As Per a new report from Entertainment Weekly, Tubb has launched legal action against Paramount regarding the decision to include his likeness in a Top Gun: Maverick scene, which includes a photograph depicting his original character alongside Maverick, Goose, and Iceman. According to the complaint, Paramount did not seek permission to use his image in the sequel, and the actor maintains the image was an altered version of an original behind-the-scenes shot that “destroyed any purported copyright.” Paramount is still yet to respond to the matter. Meanwhile, Tubbs is seeking compensatory damages and a trial by jury.

While this latest development potentially casts a shadow on the monumental success of 2022’s long-awaited Top Gun sequel, it is not the first time the movie has found itself at the centre of a legal furore. Just weeks after the movie was first released in theatres, the family of the author responsible for writing the 1983 California Magazine article that inspired the first movie accused Paramount of copyright infringement and even sought an injunction against the sequel’s distribution.

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Key to this earlier lawsuit, which alleges that Top Gun: Maverick copied key parts from Ehud Yonay’s “Top Guns” article, is a scene in which Cruise’s Maverick is forced to buy everyone in the Navy base bar a round of drinks for placing his mobile phone on the counter. However, Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski would later counter this claim, asserting the scene in question was written after his own experience visiting a bar on base and being required to buy everyone a round.

Whether either of these lawsuits will have any significant impact on Paramount’s recently announced plans for Top Gun 3 remains to be seen, yet given Top Gun: Maverick’s impressive $1.46 billion box office haul, it would take a lot to dissuade them from attempting to follow up with another sequel. However, Paramount will probably be exceedingly hesitant about including any future references to Tubb’s Wolfman.

Top Gun CharacterActor
CharlieKelly McGillis
GooseAnthony Edwards
CaroleMeg Ryan
IcemanVal Kilmer
JesterMichael Ironside
ViperTom Skerritt
CougarJohn Stockwell
SundownClarence Gilyard Jr.

Kilmer, for example, returns as Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick, but the film also features his character’s death in a particularly emotional sequence. Considering he’s just filed a lawsuit against Paramount, Tubb is now also almost certainly off the table to reprise his role as Wolfman. Original star Kelly McGillis didn’t return as Charlie in Top Gun: Maverick, nor did Meg Ryan reprise her role as Goose’s wife, Carole (the latter character is revealed in the film to have passed away).

Barry Tubb Sues Paramount

Regarding excluding so many characters from the original film, Kosinski told Insider in 2022: “I didn’t want every storyline to always be looking backwards.” With Cruise now in his early 60s and a prospective Top Gun 3 still a number of years away, it’s likely that the next movie will be even more forward-facing, especially since Maverick introduced the franchise to an entirely new generation. It remains to be seen how the franchise moves forward after Top Gun: Maverick, but, at the very least, audiences shouldn’t expect Tubb to return.

Top Gun: Maverick is the sequel to the 1986 original film starring Tom Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a top-tier pilot in the Navy. Thirty years after the events of the original film, Maverick is asked to head up a section of the TOP GUN program to embark on a dangerous mission. Things become personal when the program includes the son of Maverick’s late friend, forcing him to confront his past.

DirectorJoseph Kosinski
Release DateMay 27, 2022
WritersAshley Miller, Justin Marks , Peter Craig , Zack Stentz
CastJennifer Connelly, Jake Picking, Raymond Lee , Tom Cruise , Lewis Pullman , Monica Barbaro, Miles Teller, Danny Ramirez , Val Kilmer , Manny Jacinto , Ed Harris , Glen Powell , Jon Hamm
130 minutes

Tubb asserts that his permission to use his likeness “did not include the use of his image in the sequel.” Furthermore, he claims that the altered version of the behind-the-scenes shot destroyed any purported copyright to the image. Paramount has not yet responded to the matter.

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