The opening of the 1986 (and also 2021) film begins by talking about the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School. At the end of the description, the narrator states: “pilots call it Top Gun” . However, the name Top Gun was not created by pilots, but by a journalist, in reference to the “best weapon” available on the market, in this case the fighter pilots of the Navy and Marines.
The name came from Ehud Yonay, who in 1983 wrote an article about the military school for California Magazine. The term ended up catching on and was enshrined by the first film, from 1986, and now put back on top by the franchise’s sequel.
At the time, Paramount Pictures, the film’s production company, bought the rights to the Top Gun name for films, being the only one to be able to use it. However, that copyright ended on January 24, 2020, and a legal battle began there.
The film was scheduled to be released in June of that year and was already in post-production, when the coronavirus pandemic emerged and postponed the plans of Tom Cruise and the studio.
With the release in 2022, Ehud Yonay’s family, mainly his wife and son, are suing Paramount for unauthorized copyright use, and they want financial compensation for this, according to ABC News . The producer, in turn, claims that the film was practically completed in January 2020, and that it just didn’t release it before because of the pandemic.
As the legal battle rages on, many say that the term Top Gun itself would not be a “unique name”, and that Paramount was right to acquire at the time the rights for use in films only, and not “all rights reserved”. . Another fact is that the new movie is Top Gun: Maverick, which generated a brand new record.
Despite the term Top Gun being used by the US Navy, it never officially adopted it, but it also does not repress its use by pilots, whether on social networks and even cookies in their uniforms. After all, the film was the greatest military recruitment tool ever seen.