Hollywood has voted the US over China after responding to outrage from fans who noticed the Taiwanese flag was missing from the bomber jacket worn by Tom Cruise’s character in the “Top Gun: Maverick” trailer.
The patch, originally featured on the back of Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s black leather jacket in the 1986 film “Top Gun,” was missing from the 2019 trailer for the then highly anticipated sequel to the film, the patch reported. Daily Mail.
It was part of several patches from Mitchell’s father’s travels in Japan and Taiwan from 1963 to 1964. At the time, the flags were assumed to be random symbols appealing to the political demands of the communist nation.
A new Top Gun movie is coming. And Maverick is wearing the same leather jacket – only this time it has been approved by the Communist Party of China, so the Japanese and Taiwanese flag patches are gone (screenshot to the right is from the new trailer)… pic.twitter.com/gUxFNFNUKX
— Mark MacKinnon (@markmackinnon) July 19, 2019
However, when fans finally got the chance to see the 59-year-old actor portray the role of his famous character this weekend, they noticed it was back in its worldwide release.
It could just be a middle finger to China. https://t.co/RqH9BQFFnm
— VICE (@VICE) May 27, 2022
“It’s unprecedented,” Hong Kong film critic Ho Siu Bun told VICE World News. “Major movie studios have never been shy to give in to the Chinese market. And even if it’s a simple scene, the editing is very expensive. So no one knows why they changed it back.”
During the Taiwanese screening, the public reportedly cheered and clapped when their flag appeared, the outlet noted.
“To be honest, Tom [Cruise] doesn’t necessarily have to wear the same jacket in the opening scene. It is impossible that film producers did not know that the flag of the Republic of China would cross the red line of the Chinese Communist Party,” a Taiwanese film writer nicknamed Knee Joint wrote on Facebook. The Republic of China is the official name of Taiwan. “But they did it anyway.”
There has been speculation that the original decision may have been due to Chinese film distributor and production company Tencent Pictures, which helped fund the highly anticipated Paramount sequel. However, it eventually withdrew on the “themes of the film and its close relationship with the US military,” which could upset China.
The film is proving to be Cruise’s biggest opening of his career and is expected to gross more than $150 million at the box office during its four-day Memorial Day release, the Hollywood Reporter reported. It also turns out to be the biggest opening a movie has ever had at the domestic box office during the same holiday weekend.
At the time of this publication, there was no word on a release date in China, the outlet noted.