“Top Gun: Maverick has risked angering China by restoring the Taiwanese flag on the back of Tom Cruise’s jacket in the new blockbuster.
In the original 1986 classic, Lieutenant Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell wears a leather bomber jacket featuring patches on the back, commemorating his father’s battleship tours to Japan and Taiwan in 1963 to 1964.
But when the trailer for the highly-anticipated sequel was released in 2019, the flags had been mysteriously removed.
There was speculation the decision was influenced by Chinese film distributor and production company Tencent Pictures, who were part producing the aviation romp.
The flags had been replaced by random symbols in an apparent kowtow to the Communist nation’s political demands.
But when the film was released this week, fans were relieved to see the flags had been restored, with one scene even featuring a close-up shot.
Chinese fans were left unimpressed, with one saying on social media: ‘Fine, don’t take our money. We will watch the pirated version.’
The move is a rare U-turn for Hollywood and has not been explained by the film’s producers.
Ho Siu Bun, a film critic based in Hong Kong, told VICE World News: ‘It is unprecedented. Major film studios have never been shy about pandering to the Chinese market.”