Top Gun angers China by restoring Taiwan flag after removing Maverick’s jacket for trailer

Top Gun re-applies Taiwanese flag on Maverick’s jacket in warning to China

  • In the 1986 original, Tom Cruise wears a jacket with the flags of Taiwan and Japan
  • The 2019 trailer for the sequel sees them removed, sparking outrage from fans
  • Flag is now back after Chinese-made films withdraw

Top Gun: Mavericks risked angering China by restoring the Taiwanese flag on the back of Tom Cruise’s jacket in new blockbuster.

In the 1986 classic, Lieutenant Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell wears a leather bomber jacket with patches on the back in honor of his father’s battleship trips to Japan and Taiwan in 1963-64.

But those flags were mysteriously removed when the highly anticipated sequel trailer was released in 2019.

Top Gun: Maverick evades Chinese censorship and restores the Taiwanese flag on the back of Tom Cruise's jacket (pictured)

Top Gun: Maverick evades Chinese censorship and restores the Taiwanese flag on the back of Tom Cruise’s jacket (pictured)

Taiwan and Japan flags removed from Maverick's leather bomber jacket in 2019 trailer

Taiwan and Japan flags removed from Maverick’s leather bomber jacket in 2019 trailer

There is speculation that the decision was influenced by Chinese film distributor and production company Tencent Pictures, which is involved in the production of the film.

The flags were replaced by random symbols, an apparent bow to the political demands of a communist country.

But fans were relieved to see that the flag had been restored when the film hit theaters this week, with one scene even featuring a close-up.

Chinese fans were unimpressed, with someone on social media saying: ‘Okay, don’t take our money. We’ll be watching pirated versions.

The move, a rare U-turn in Hollywood, was not explained by the filmmakers.

Hong Kong film critic He Xiaobin told Vice World News: ‘This is unprecedented. Major studios have never been shy about catering to the Chinese market.

A shot of Tom Cruise's character from the original movie show wearing a jacket with two flags printed on it

A shot of Tom Cruise’s character from the original movie show wearing a jacket with two flags printed on it

“It was very expensive to edit even a simple scene. So no one knows why they changed it back.

Tencent eventually pulled out of the film, concerned that the film’s subject matter and close ties to the U.S. military might anger the ruling Communist Party, and that the production company has no name for the sequel.

At the Taiwan premiere, the audience cheered and clapped when their flag unexpectedly appeared.

China does not recognize Taiwan as an autonomous country, officially known as the Republic of China.

The inclusion of the Taiwan flag would be seen as a challenge to Chinese rule, and Apple even censored the flag on its iPhones in the country.

China remains the biggest movie box office, with $7.3 billion last year, accounting for a third of global sales.

In recent years, Hollywood has increasingly attracted the market and has relied on Chinese funding for blockbuster productions.

In 2010, after China, not the Soviet Union, invaded the continental United States after the script for the remake of the Cold War film “Red Dawn” was leaked, Chinese state media slammed attempts to “demonize” Beijing.

In the end, MGM spent about $1 million removing evidence of the People’s Liberation Army frame by frame and replacing them with North Koreans and Russians.

Earlier this year, China radically edited the original ending of the cult classic “Fight Club” to comply with the country’s strict censorship regime.

Streaming platform Tencent Video hosted the 1999 David Fincher film but changed the anarchist, anti-capitalist message, making the film a global hit.

Instead of blasting multiple buildings as in the original ending, the authorities won in the censored version.

Top Gun: Mavericks is yet to be released in China.

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