As Chinese Financer Bows Out, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Restores Taiwanese, Japanese Flag Patches

American actor Tom Cruise, as Lieutenant Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell, in a promotional portrait for 'Top Gun', directed by Tony Scott, 1986. (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Paramount Pictures/Archive Photos/Getty Images, AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Shortly after the removal of Chinese sponsorship from the film, Top Gun: Maverick producers have restored the original Taiwanese and Japanese flag patches to Tom Cruise’s iconic jacket.

When Paramount released the first trailer for Top Gun: Maverick nearly two years ago, astute observers noticed that Tom Cruise’s bomber jacket was missing the Taiwanese and Japanese flag patches that were so prominently displayed in the first movie. It was assumed the studio had effectively erased China’s adversaries in order to secure a lucrative release on Chinese screens.

Now Paramount has restored the Taiwanese and Japanese flag patches for the sequel’s U.S. release, Breitbart News has confirmed. The patches are visible early in the movie when Maverick (Cruise) takes the famous jacket out of his locker and puts it on.

Paramount did not respond to a request for comment from Breitbart News. Top Gun: Maverick was originally supposed to be co-financed by China’s Tencent, a deal that would have all but guaranteed a lucrative theatrical release in China, where Tom Cruise is immensely popular.

But according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Tencent withdrew from the movie over concerns about the storyline’s pro-America tone. The withdrawal has imperiled the movie’s chances of obtaining a China release, but it also frees the studio to add back the Taiwanese and Japanese flag patches.

Paramount has reportedly also restored the flags for the movie’s release in Taiwan, according to some local reports.

The studio’s original decision to remove the references to Taiwan and Japan met with harsh blowback. Members of Congress including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blasted Paramount for engaging in an apparent act of creative censorship to appease Beijing.

“What are we saying to the world? That Maverick is afraid of the Chinese communists?” Cruz said in an appearance on Fox News in 2020.

That same year, Cruz put forth a zero-tolerance policy for Hollywood studios that willingly censor their movies to please Chinese Communist officials, proposing new legislation that would block all federal assistance to the studios behind those film productions.

Warner Bros. recently censored the latest Fantastic Beasts movie for China by deleting a gay reference alluding to the romantic past between Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen). The cuts did not affect the U.S. release of the movie.

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