Top Gun actor Barry Tubb sues Paramount for using his image in sequel

Top Gun actor Barry Tubb is suing Paramount Pictures for unauthorised use of his image in the film’s 2022 sequel Top Gun: Maverick.

Tubb, 61, played lieutenant junior grade Henry “Wolfman” Ruth in the original 1986 blockbuster.

He didn’t act in Top Gun: Maverick, but his likeness did appear in a sequence in which the camera zooms in on a photo of the fictional Top Gun class of 1986. Tubb is shown along with fellow cast members Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer.

According to court documents published by Bloomberg, Tubb’s likeness being used in that scene “is essential in a way that is not incidental.”

Tubb is seeking unspecified damages for the unauthorized use of his likeness.

In the case, which was filed on Wednesday, Tubb’s lawyers say the actor signed a contract agreeing for his likeness to be used only in the original film.

Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun Maverick’ (© 2022 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved.)
Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun Maverick’ (© 2022 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved.)

They also state that a potential sequel was never discussed, but that regardless Paramount went ahead and used the image “without seeking his permission and without compensation.”

Tubb’s lawyers argue that Paramount used Tubb’s image “for purely selfserving commercial purposes and their own business interests”, noting that Top Gun: Maverick raked in over a billion dollars at the box office.

They also state their belief that Paramount Pictures reached out to other actors to ask for permission for “similar appearances” in the movie. They say Tubb wants the amount of damages to be determined by the court, but that the amount shouldn’t be anything less than $75,000.

The Independent has approached Paramount for comment.

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that Tom Cruise will return for a third Top Gun film, which is also in production at Paramount.

Glen Powell and Miles Teller are rumoured to be returning for the new sequel from Top Gun: Maverick writer Ehren Kruger.

In a four star review of Top Gun: Maverick, The Independent’s chief film critic Clarisse Loughrey wrote: “One day, there’ll need to be a reckoning over what exactly these films do and who they benefit.

“But, for now, there’s another truth that’s hard to swerve: the belated follow-up Top Gun: Maverick is as thrilling as blockbusters get. It’s the kind of edge-of-your-seat, fist-pumping spectacular that can unite an entire room full of strangers sitting in the dark and leave them with a wistful tear in their eye.”