A hit at the global box office since its release on May 25, Top Gun Maverick might never be shown in Chinese theaters. As CNN reports, China may choose to censor the second installment of the adventures of fighter pilot Pete Maverick Mitchell, played by Tom Cruise, due to a flag dispute.
In one scene of the film, the flag of Taiwan appears clearly on his bomber coat, just like that of Japan, as the communist regime continues to claim sovereignty over Taiwan and maintains rocky relations with its Japanese neighbor. While Paramount Pictures took responsibility for removing its two flags in the film’s trailer, replacing them with two similar banners, they were retained in some scenes, much to China’s annoyance.
“There is a good chance that Beijing will ban the release and monetization of Top Gun Maverick in China,” said Chris Fenton, former president of production company DMG Entertainment. “There is also a likelihood that the Chinese government will block the studio, filmmakers and market players for an extended period. We have witnessed similar punishments in the past,” he also predicts.
In China, the quota of foreign films is limited to 34 each year. This decision, taken by the Chinese Communist Party, aims to restrict the distribution of foreign entertainment and it is therefore very likely that Top Gun Maverick will not pass this barrier. For their part, the Taiwanese applauded warmly when they saw the presence of their flag on the screen. Many of them said they were “moved, surprised and delighted”.