Top Gun puts the Taiwanese flag back on Maverick’s jacket after removing it for a trailer, angering China

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Top Gun: Maverick has evaded Chinese censorship and restored the Taiwanese flag to the back of Tom Cruise's jacket (pictured)

Top Gun fires a warning to China by putting the Taiwanese flag back on Maverick’s jacket after its removal caused an outcry for a supporter

  • In the 1986 original, Tom Cruise wore a jacket with Taiwan and Japan flags
  • In the trailer for the 2019 sequel, they were removed, sparking anger from fans
  • The flags have now been restored after the Chinese production film was pulled out

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 with back patches commemorating his father’s battleship voyages to Japan and Taiwan in 1963-64.

But by the time the trailer for the highly anticipated sequel was released in 2019, the flags had mysteriously been removed.

Top Gun: Maverick has evaded Chinese censorship and restored the Taiwanese flag to the back of Tom Cruise’s jacket (pictured)

In the 2019 trailer, the flags of Taiwan and Japan were removed from Maverick's leather bomber jacket

In the 2019 trailer, the flags of Taiwan and Japan were removed from Maverick’s leather bomber jacket

There has been speculation that the decision was influenced by the Chinese film distributor and production company Tencent Pictures, who were involved in the production of the aviation flick.

The flags had been replaced with arbitrary symbols in an apparent kowtow to the political demands of the communist nation.

But when the film was released this week, fans were relieved to see the flags had been restored, with one scene even including a close-up.

Chinese fans were unimpressed, with one saying on social media: “Fine, don’t take our money. We’ll look at the pirated copies.’

The move is a rare reversal for Hollywood and was not explained by the film’s producers.

Ho Siu Bun, a Hong Kong film critic, told VICE World News, “This is unprecedented. Big film studios have never shied away from serving the Chinese market.

A shot of Tom Cruise's character from the original film show wearing a jacket emblazoned with both flags

A shot of Tom Cruise’s character from the original film show wearing a jacket emblazoned with both flags

“And even if it’s a simple scene, it’s very expensive to edit. So nobody knows why they changed it again.’

Tencent eventually pulled out of the film over concerns that the film’s themes and proximity to the US military might anger the ruling Communist Party, and the production company is not named in the sequel.

During the first performances in Taiwan, spectators cheered and clapped when their flag unexpectedly appeared.

China does not recognize Taiwan as an autonomous nation and is officially known as the Republic of China.

The inclusion of Taiwan’s flag would be seen as a challenge to China’s rule, with the flag even being censored by Apple on its iPhones in the country.

China remains the biggest box office, raking in $7.3 billion in ticket sales last year, a third of the world total.

Hollywood has been increasingly courting the market in recent years and is relying on Chinese financing for its major productions.

In 2010, after leaking a script for a remake of the Cold War film Red Dawn, which stars China as the invader of the continental United States rather than the Soviet Union, Chinese state media railed against attempts to “demonize” Beijing .

In the end, MGM spent about $1 million to digitally erase evidence of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army frame by frame and use North Koreans and Russians in their place.

Earlier this year, China radically edited the original ending of cult classic Fight Club to comply with the country’s restrictive censorship rules.

Streaming platform Tencent Video hosted the David Fincher film in 1999, but changed the anarchist, anti-capitalist message that made the film a worldwide hit.

Instead of several buildings exploding like in the original ending, the authorities win in the censored version.

Top Gun: Maverick has not yet been released in China.

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