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‘Top Gun’ Actor Barry Tubb Sues Paramount Over Use of Wolfman Likeness in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Feature Top Gun Actor Barry Tubb Sues Paramount Over Use of Wolfman Likeness in Top Gun Maverick
Barry Tubb Gary Miller/Getty Images

Top Gun actor Barry Tubb is suing Paramount for using his image in the 2022 sequel Top Gun: Maverick.

Tubb, 61, portrayed Wolfman in the original 1986 hit alongside Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, though he did not appear in Top Gun: Maverick.

He says the term “sequel” never appeared in his original contract for Top Gun, and so believes Paramount did not have the right to use his likeness more than 30 years later.

The moment in Top Gun: Maverick that Tubb takes issue with is brief but important. It comes 44 minutes in, when one of the characters, Hangman (Glen Powell), notices a photograph of the Top Gun Class of 1986. Hangman calls over Coyote (Greg Tarzan Davis) to look, and Wolfman’s face is briefly visible in the photo, next to familiar faces Goose (Anthony Edwards), Iceman (Kilmer) and Maverick (Cruise).

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The camera focuses on Maverick before Hangman diverts attention to Goose, who is directly next to Wolfman. At this point, Hangman and Coyote realize that Goose is actually the father of their fellow recruit Rooster (Miles Teller).

Top Gun Actor Barry Tubb Sues Paramount Over Use of Wolfman Likeness in Top Gun Maverick
Barry Tubb IN ‘Top Gun’. Paramount Pictures

Tubb says he was never contacted about the photo and never gave his consent for the film to use it. He is seeking unspecified damages, according to documents filed in a Los Angeles court and obtained by Us Weekly.

When he landed the Wolfman role, Tubb was still relatively unknown but had appeared in The Legend of Billie Jean and Mask in 1985 before his Top Gun breakout.

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Since appearing in Top Gun, Tubb has appeared in a host of other projects. In the ensuing years, he earned roles in TV series American Playhouse, Billionaire Boys Club and Lonesome Dove. He then took a break from acting in the mid-’90s before returning in the 1999 comedy The Big Day and the 2001 action film American Outlaws. Tubb then had a six-episode run on the hit TV series Friday Night Lights.

He also wrote and directed several projects in the early 2000s but has stayed relatively quiet over the past decade.

While it’s not clear exactly how much Tubb is looking for, he claimed he was not paid a cent for the use of his likeness. Top Gun: Maverick grossed $1.495 billion worldwide, second only to Avatar: The Way of Water in 2022. It also owned the domestic box office to the tune of $718.3 million, blowing away Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Top Gun: Maverick is the sixth highest-grossing film of all time.

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