LOS ANGELES — Hawk-eyed viewers detected something amiss in the new Top Gun trailer, 'Maverick's' bomber jacket, specifically its patch arrangement.
The trailer for the upcoming sequel of the classic 1986 action film, due to be released in 2020, saw Cruise's character sporting his signature leather bomber, but this time, both Japanese and Taiwanese flags had been removed.
The Japan Times reported on the sequel, titled Top Gun: Maverick, which was co-produced by Chinese company, Tencent Pictures, a film distributor and production company.
The involvement of Tencent has some fans speculating whether or not Xi's Communist Beijing had a hand in the removal of both flags.
The change in the patch was seen by many on social media as a move to propitiate and satisfy a Chinese audience that might feel uneasy having to endure the flags of enemies Japan and Taiwan.
Others saw the move as an overruling by China's Communist Party, which, to put it simply, would have the last word over any projects Tencent invests in, therefore banishing any mention of the two nations.
The report continued by identifying China as one of the biggest film markets in the world.
According to a prediction by Deloitte, China will overtake North America in box office revenue and the number of movie-goers by 2020, becoming the largest film market in the world.
China has also become the main consumer of American-made movies, resulting in Beijing managing how China is represented in movies Americans produce and see, pushing for it to be represented in a more peaceful and less threatening manner.