In the movie Top Gun 2, the character Maverick wears a Taiwanese flag patch on his jacket, despite the objections raised by China. This move has been seen as a significant shift in Hollywood, where filmmakers have often complied with the demands of Chinese censors.
Top Gun: Maverick is earning praise not only for its commitment to authenticity but also for its defiance of Chinese censorship. The appearance of Maverick’s Taiwanese flag patch in the film is significant, as it represents a departure from Hollywood’s tendency to appease Chinese censors in order to gain access to the lucrative Chinese market. The film is also eschewing CGI in favor of practical effects, with real locations, in-cockpit camera rigs, and even the actors themselves performing stunts after undergoing extensive training. This dedication to realism includes leaving in certain unscripted shots that add to the gritty feel of the movie. Overall, Top Gun: Maverick is signaling a major shift in the way Hollywood does business, one that prioritizes creative integrity over commercial gain.
In Top Gun: Maverick, the Taiwanese flag patch on Maverick’s jacket represents a significant shift in Hollywood’s approach to dealing with Chinese censors. For years, Hollywood studios have been willing to compromise on content to gain access to the second-largest movie market in the world. China has strict guidelines on what can be shown on screen, and Hollywood studios have been cutting sensitive topics from movies to appease the Chinese Communist Party. However, Top Gun: Maverick appears to be taking a stand. The movie is being praised for its commitment to authenticity and practical effects, and the inclusion of the Taiwanese flag patch is seen as a bold statement. When the trailer was released, the patch was removed, but after backlash, it was reinstated in the final movie. The controversy shows that Hollywood is no longer willing to bend to Chinese demands and signals a major shift in the industry’s approach to doing business with China.
The Necessity of China for Blockbuster Movies
After not receiving any funding or profits from China, Top Gun: Maverick defied expectations and shattered box office records, becoming Paramount’s top-grossing film to date, the highest-grossing film of 2022, and Tom Cruise’s first movie to surpass $1 billion in box office sales. A combination of factors such as ’80s nostalgia, a Memorial Day weekend release, Tom Cruise’s star power, and a relatable plot all played a role in the movie’s success. Despite appearances, Top Gun: Maverick’s success is not an anomaly in the film industry.
Top Gun: Maverick (2022) IMDb Rating
Maverick, a highly skilled naval aviator, continues to push the limits even after three decades of service. However, he must come face-to-face with his past as he leads the most exceptional TOP GUN graduates on a perilous mission that requires the utmost bravery from the selected pilots.
These recent examples suggest that major blockbuster movies no longer require the approval or financial backing of China. Spider-Man: No Way Home, the highest-grossing film of 2021, refused to remove the Statue of Liberty at the behest of Chinese censors and did not open in China. Similarly, Pixar’s Lightyear featured a same-sex kiss scene and also did not screen in China, but its underperformance at the box office was likely due to American audience preferences rather than a lack of Chinese distribution. While it’s too early to determine if this will become a trend, it’s a promising step forward for free expression in the arts and a positive development for Hollywood’s independence from Chinese censorship.
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