The first "Top Gun: Maverick" trailer made a surprise debut at Comic-Con last week, and not only has it inspired excitement, but there's a whiff of controversy, too. Fans are speculating that Paramount made a change to the iconic bomber jacket worn by Maverick (Tom Cruise) to pander to the Chinese government, as THR reports.
Mark MacKinnon of The Globe and Mail noted in a tweet Friday that it looked like Maverick was wearing the same leather jacket as he did in "Top Gun" -- with a notable change. The journalist showed in two photos that the jacket's patch no longer has the Japanese and Taiwanese flags. That, he speculated, was a move made to appease the Chinese government.
"There's a new Top Gun movie coming out," he wrote. "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)..."
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
In a followup tweet, MacKinnon noted that one of the film's producers is the Chinese company Tencent Pictures, saying, "'Mystery' solved."
Others weighed in on the topic as well, some pointing out that the Chinese box office is too big not to ignore. As one user wrote, "the Chinese market is huge and alienating that government means losing billions of dollars in additional revenue." Meanwhile, some were outraged by the idea of letting money dictate such decisions.
There hasn't been a response from either Paramount or Tencent, so fans are left to speculate. Some did note that there could be other reasons for the change. The entire patch appears to be different; whereas it said "Far East Cruise 63-4" at the top in the original film, it now says, "Indian Ocean Cruise 85-86." It's possible Maverick got a new jacket in the last three decades.
Whatever the reason for the change, "Top Gun: Maverick" has already got people talking.
The film opens June 26, 2020.