Following the release of the Top Gun: Maverick trailer, an eagle-eye fan spotted something on Tom Cruise's classic bomber jacket, and it has caused a political debate to erupted on Twitter. The film, which is a sequel to the 1986 classic action film Top Gun, sees Cruise's Air Force fighter pilot LT Pete "Maverick" Mitchell back in action more than 30 years later.
Cruise recently made a surprise appearance during a San Diego Comic-Con 2019 Hall-H panel to premiere the new trailer, which gives audiences their first look at what the new films has in store.
Journalist Mark MacKinnon — a Senior International Correspondent for Canada's The Globe and Mail — pointed out something interesting regarding Cruise's jacket in the footage for the new film. The old jacket that Cruise wore in the original '80s classic has flags for Taiwan and Japan, but in the new film those flags have been swapped out.
There’s a new Top Gun movie coming out. And Maverick is wearing the same leather jacket - only this time it’s Communist Party of China-approved, so the Japanese and Taiwanese flag patches are gone (screenshot on right is from the new trailer)... pic.twitter.com/gUxFNFNUKX— Mark MacKinnon (@markmackinnon) July 19, 2019
After some digging, MacKinnon determined that he believes the reason for this is due to one of the film's financiers being Tencent Pictures.
Tencent Pictures is a "Chinese film distributor and production company owned by Tencent. It has created films based on books, comic books, animated series and video games." They have also co-financed films such as Wonder Woman, Kong: Skull Island, Bumblebee, and the forthcoming movies Terminator: Dark Fate and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
"Mystery" solved. China's Tencent Pictures is one of the main producers of Top Gun Maverick: pic.twitter.com/FE4Xq5qKwN— Mark MacKinnon (@markmackinnon) July 19, 2019
Many other Twitter users have jumped in on the conversation, with one person tweeting, "A film glorifying the U.S. military, bowing to Chinese sensitivities. What a time to be alive."
"They're looking for a larger audience on mainland China," someone else said. "Money talks, etc..."
James Bond movie took 20 million from the Mexican gov't to portray Mexico City in a positive light. Everyone is a sell out trying to influence the minds of people watching.— KSE (@kbk3n3) July 19, 2019
Eventually, people began pointing out that the patches appear to be different ones entirely, with one person offering the following explanation: "It looks like in the original movie, the patch is his father's from his Vietnam tour while the second patch is his own. The second say 85-86, when the original came out, and says Indian Ocean Cruise, where the dogfights at the end of the original happened."0comments
Many others have since echoed this sentiment.
Top Gun: Maverick was originally scheduled to be released this year, but its premiere was pushed back and it will now debut on June 26, 2020.