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'Top Gun' actor Barry Tubb sues Paramount for using his image in 'Top Gun: Maverick'

"Top Gun" actor Barry Tubb is suing Paramount Pictures for using his image in the film's critically-acclaimed sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick," without his permission or paying him, according to court records.

Tubb, who plays Henry "Wolfman" Ruth in the original "Top Gun," filed the suit Feb. 21 in the Central District of California. Tubb claims he contractually gave Paramount limited permission to use his image for various purposes, but only for "Top Gun" in 1986, not any sequels, court documents show.

"The scope of that permission did not include the use of his Image in the sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, which was released in May 2022 to a worldwide audience and became one of the highest grossing movies that year and its cumulative take will make it one of the highest grossing movies of all time," according to the suit.

Barry Tubb as 'Wolfman' in 'Top Gun'
Barry Tubb as 'Wolfman' in 'Top Gun'

Dennis Postiglione, Tubb's attorney, told USA TODAY in an email that his client "does not wish to comment beyond what’s stated in the lawsuit."

"He’s confident that the legal system will produce a just result in his case," Postiglione said.

When a 22-year-old Tubb signed the contract with Paramount for "Top Gun" on June 5, 1985, movie sequels were "virtually non-existent" so the thought of a follow-up film wasn't being contemplated by either party at the time, according to the court documents.

Paramount Pictures did not immediately respond to USA TODAY's request for comment.

Tubb is demanding a jury trial and for Paramount to pay him no less than $75,000 in damages, court records show.

What 'Top Gun: Maverick' scene did Wolfman appear in?

The scene Tubb is suing the film company over involves 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 look at an old photo of the Top Gun Class of 1986, which includes Iceman (Val Kilmer), Goose, Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Tubb's Wolfman.

"This remains a four-shot close-up clearly establishing (Tubb)," according to the suit. "(Tubb's) likeness in the scene is essential in a way that is not incidental. The Image of (Tubb) is used in a four-shot equal close-up with Maverick, Goose, and Iceman—all top-billed characters in the original Top Gun."

Picture of the fictional Top Gun Class of 1986 from the film 'Top Gun'
Picture of the fictional Top Gun Class of 1986 from the film 'Top Gun'

Tubb said Paramount didn't ask him to appear in the movie, nor did he ask to be in the film, court documents show. In addition to illegally using his image, the actor is accusing the film company of modifying and altering the original image from the "Top Gun" film to avoid copyright laws.

"(Tubb's) persona is not copyrightable and, thus, his rights of publicity are independent of any copyright," according to the suit. "Paramount misappropriated (Tubb's) image and/or identity for purely self-serving commercial purposes and their own business interests."

How much money did 'Top Gun: Maverick' make?

Tom Cruise reprises his role as Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in "Top Gun: Maverick."
Tom Cruise reprises his role as Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in "Top Gun: Maverick."

"Top Gun: Maverick" became the second highest-grossing film of 2022 accruing nearly $1.5 billion worldwide at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo. Only "Avatar: The Way of Water" managed to gross more with $2.32 billion worldwide, the box-office tracking website shows.

Paramount, Skydance and New Republic shared a net profit of $391.1 million based on the film's performance during its 210-day theatrical window, according to Deadline.

The film's leading man, Tom Cruise, made $100 million to reprise his role as U.S. Navy Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, Variety reported.

'Top Gun' secrets: Why Tom Cruise's love scene isn't steamy and Val Kilmer's voice didn't need A.I.

Cast of 'Top Gun: Maverick'

  • Tom Cruise as Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell

  • Val Kilmer as Adm. Tom "Iceman" Kazansky

  • Miles Teller as Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw

  • Jennifer Connelly as Penny Benjamin

  • Bashir Salahuddin as CWO4 Bernie "Hondo" Coleman

  • Jon Hamm as Adm. Beau "Cyclone" Simpson

  • Jay Ellis as Lt. Reuben "Payback" Fitch

  • Danny Ramirez as Lt. Mickey "Fanboy" Garcia

  • Glen Powell as Lt. Jake "Hangman" Seresin

  • Greg Tarzan Davis as Lt. Javy "Coyote" Machado

  • Monica Barbaro as Lt. Natasha "Phoenix" Trace

  • Lewis Pullman as Lt. Robert "Bob" Floyd

  • Charles Parnell as Adm. Solomon "Warlock" Bates

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Barry Tubb, 'Top Gun' actor, sues over use of his image in 'Maverick'