From a story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks, Top Gun: Maverick is a 2022 American action drama film directed by Joseph Kosinski and written by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie. The film stars Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Monica Barbaro, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, and Val Kilmer as Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, reprising his role from the 1986 original.
It follows Maverick’s return to the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (also known as “Top Gun”), where he must confront his past while training a group of younger aviators, including the son of Maverick’s deceased best friend Goose, 36 years after the events of the previous film.
In 2010, Paramount Pictures stated that a sequel to Top Gun was in the works. Cruise and Kilmer, as well as producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott, were recruited to reprise their roles from the original film. A draught of the screenplay was completed by mid-2012, but Scott committed suicide, and the film’s pre-production was placed on hold. Scott’s memory is honored in this film.
Kosinski was hired in June 2017 and a fresh draught of the script was written. Principal photography took conducted in California, Washington, D.C., and Maryland from May 2018 to April 2019. The film was shot on 6K full-frame cameras that were certified by IMAX. Its release date was originally set for July 12, 2019, but was postponed due to difficulties shooting multiple intricate action sequences, as well as the COVID-19 epidemic and scheduling complications.
After a Backlash, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Reintroduces the Taiwan Flag
After a backlash, “Top Gun: Maverick” is now showing Taiwan’s official flag, jeopardizing its distribution in mainland China. The box office smash — which is by far Tom Cruise’s most successful commercial debut — now incorporates the flag on his iconic bomber jacket, including in the Taiwanese edition.
Initially, the trailer for the film, released in 2019, suggested otherwise. During the preview, the patches on Cruise’s jacket looked to have been swapped out and replaced with two unclear symbols in the same color scheme, which previously carried flags representing Taiwan and Japan. Some critics were enraged by this omission, leading to conjecture that the modification was done to accommodate Chinese censors and the film’s Chinese funder, Tencent (TCEHY). Tencent Pictures, a Shenzhen-based tech behemoth, was an investor in the highly awaited sequel to the 1986 blockbuster at the time.
However, the corporation has now withdrawn. Tencent resigned its role as a funder of the film in late 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources. This comes amid geopolitical worries between China and the United States.
According to the article, the company was concerned about offending officials in Beijing by advertising a film that glorified the US military as US-Chinese relations deteriorated. A request for comment from Tencent and Paramount (PGRE) Pictures, the film’s studio, went unanswered.
A Touchy Subject
The relationship between China and Taiwan is complicated. Despite never having ruled over Taiwan, Beijing’s communist leadership has long claimed it as part of its territory. The Chinese government has pressed global firms to refer to Taiwan as a Chinese territory as part of its campaign in exchange for access to its lucrative market.
United Airlines (UAL), Delta Airlines (DAL), Marriott (MAR), American Express (AXP), and Goldman Sachs (GS) are among the companies that have joined the movement. As China’s influence at the worldwide box office has grown, Hollywood films have become increasingly controlled. Relations between China and Japan have historically been tense, with tensions escalating in recent years over disputed islands in the East China Sea.
There’s a Golden Ticket
According to market researcher Artisan Gateway, China has the world’s largest box office, with $7.3 billion in ticket sales last year, accounting for almost a third of all ticket sales worldwide. However, gaining entrance to this rich sector is difficult. The government only allows 34 international films to be shown in Chinese theatres each year, and Beijing’s film censors are notorious for snubbing Hollywood blockbusters with sequences that contradict China’s own politics.
Before it was broadcast on streaming provider Tencent Video in January, censors changed the ending of the 1999 hit Fight Club. Instead of the climactic finale sequence, in which the anarchist protagonist blows up a succession of bank buildings, a title screen informs viewers that “the police quickly worked out the whole scheme and captured all culprits, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding.”
As the Chinese box office grew in value, Hollywood producers teamed up with Chinese companies and financiers to learn how to dodge censorship and secure a golden ticket into the Chinese market. However, gaining access does not guarantee success.
Despite filmmakers ensuring they selected stars popular in China, shared the script with Chinese officials for review, and removed sequences that Chinese test audiences didn’t like, Disney’s 2020 film Mulan flopped at the box office in China.
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