With all of the very positive reviews coming out for Tom Cruise's much anticipated Top Gun sequel, no news has made me more excited to see the movie than this.
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
In the world of Hollywood where executives will often trim movies and change storylines to please China, Tom Cruise and Top Gun decided to remain solely pro-America, causing a Chinese firm to pull its funds from the movie.
In an entertainment industry full of uncertainty, few movies seemed as sure a bet as a sequel to the 1986 classic "Top Gun."
The Chinese tech firm Tencent Holdings Ltd. in 2019 signed on to co-finance the film, which the Shenzhen-based conglomerate hoped would yield a windfall at the box office. Yet when "Top Gun: Maverick" hits theaters this weekend, it will do so without any financing from Tencent, and without any mention of the Chinese firm that had once boasted of its involvement in the film.
The reason: Tencent executives backed out of the $170 million Paramount Pictures production after they grew concerned that Communist Party officials in Beijing would be angry about the company's affiliation with a movie celebrating the American military, according to people familiar with the matter.
This is what we need: Movies that are so patriotic that companies are afraid it'll offend the Chi-Comms.
You absolutely love to see it.
Association with a pro-American story grew radioactive as relations between the U.S. and China devolved, the people added. The about-face turned "Top Gun: Maverick" from a movie that once symbolized deepening ties between China and Hollywood into a fresh example of the broader tensions forming between the U.S. and China.
In less than three years, Chinese executives have gone from rushing toward financing opportunities in Hollywood to steering clear, at the same time that other Western businesses have shifted their perception of China from an attractive growth market of 1.4 billion consumers to a thicket of uncertainty.
And guess what? Top Gun: Maverick is so American that China isn't even going to show it.
"Top Gun: Maverick" hasn't been approved for release in China, making it the latest in a string of major Hollywood releases not screening in the market.
Tencent initially put up millions of dollars for a 12.5% stake in the film before dropping out, according to people familiar with the financing.
In late 2019, when Tencent quietly backed away from the film, companies operating in China were under pressure to pledge loyalty to the Communist Party as part of President Xi Jinping's
There's nothing quite as American as absolutely ticking off the commies.
I am SO going to see this movie now.
"Top Gun: Maverick" is already receiving the grandest release of the Covid era. When the film screened at the Cannes Film Festival this month, Mr. Cruise arrived via a helicopter, and jet fighters marked the sky above the red carpet with red, white and blue smoke.
The filmmakers originally sparked controversy when they removed the Taiwanese flag from Maverick's jacket. But they have changed their tune and are leaning into a pro-American audience.
The flag swap generated considerable attention—particularly in conservative media—with critics calling the edit a capitulation to Chinese interests on a movie that celebrates American patriotism. In the final edit of the film, Mr. Cruise's character can be seen donning the bomber jacket, the original flags intact but on screen for the briefest of seconds.
Take that China!
Tom Cruise doesn't need your commie money, and he doesn't need your approval anymore.
This is a great development. Hopefully, the Chinese market will continue to have less impact on how red-blooded American movies are made.
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