New ‘Top Gun’ movie appears to remove flags from Cruise’s bomber jacket

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(CNN) – The Top Gun sequel coming out next year — titled “Top Gun: Maverick” — is stirring up some controversy on social media.

A trailer released last week shows Tom Cruise putting on the same bomber jacket he wore in the original 1986 movie — but with two key changes.

Two of the patches were originally of the Japanese and Taiwanese flags.

It appears they were swapped out and replaced with two ambiguous symbols with the same color schemes.

Social media speculation suggests the changes are related to the involvement of the Chinese company Tencent Pictures.

A company press release says it’s working with Paramount Pictures as an investor and co-marketer of the movie.

Chinese-Japanese relations have long been fraught over competition and territorial disputes in the East China Sea.

And China has recently had a tense relationship with its island territory, Taiwan.

CNN reached out to Paramount Pictures and Tencent Pictures for comment on the changes but has yet to hear back.

Journalist Mark Mackinnon pointed out the change in the flags on Twitter, saying the new jacket is — quote — “communist party of China-approved.”

President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Junior, retweeted it, adding — quote — “China makes them do this for access to the Chinese market. If Hollywood doesn’t comply they don’t get to sell to their 1.5 billion people.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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