A Chinese tech firm pulled out of co-financing the $170 million Tom Cruise movie, “Top Gun: Maverick,” over concerns China’s communist government would be angry about the company’s association with a film celebrating the American military, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The firm, Tencent Holdings Ltd., hoping the film would be a windfall, had signed on in 2019 to co-finance the movie, the Journal said. But by the end of the year it had quietly backed away after initially putting up millions of dollars for a 12.5% stake of the film.
Involvement in the pro-American movie grew troublesome as relations between the U.S. and China became more strained. Now, Chinese executives are no longer looking to get involved in Hollywood.
The Journal noted that before Tencent pulled out, an early trailer for the film, released in the summer of 2019, showed Cruise wearing his iconic bomber jacket from the original "Top Gun" movie. The jacket was decorated with patches, which included Japanese and Taiwanese flags.
But a trailer released later that year showed the flags had been removed and patches that resembled the two nations’ flags were put in their place.
The change was made after a suggestion by a Tencent financier on the film, according to an unnamed source. The financier was reportedly concerned that Chinese censors would not approve the movie with the flags visible.
In the film, Cruise's character is now seen wearing the jacket with the original flags, but it is shown on screen for just seconds.
The Wall Street Journal noted the new film hasn’t been approved for viewing in China.
In the film, Cruise reprises his role as U.S. Navy pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. The film premiered in the United Kingdom last week and Prince William and his wife, Kate, joined Cruise in viewing the film, according to The Associated Press.
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