Tom Cruise’s Jacket in Top Gun: Maverick Stirs Controversy

The first Top Gun: Maverick trailer, unveiled by star Tom Cruise at San Diego Comic-Con Thursday, has sparked controversy among some internet users who noticed the Taiwanese and Japanese flags are no longer represented in patches on the leather jacket sported by Cruise's hotshot pilot.

One tweet pointing out the "Communist Party of China-approved" change has gone viral with more than 15,000 favorites. An accompanying screenshot shows the same jacket but with Japan and Taiwan's flags replaced by unidentified symbols in similar color schemes.

The Joseph Kosinski-directed Top Gun sequel is produced by Paramount Pictures partner Skydance Media and Chinese production company Tencent Pictures, explaining what some commentors are calling "pandering" to Beijing.

But another Twitter user had an alternate explanation for the change: the jacket worn by Cruise's Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell in the 1986 film read "Far East Cruise 63-4," while the updated patch reads "Indian Ocean Cruise 85-86" and is reflective of Mitchell's accomplishments.

"It looks like in the original movie, the patch is his father's from his Vietnam tour while the second patch is his own," @bbmikej tweets. "The second say 85-86, when the original came out, and says Indian Ocean Cruise, where the dogfights at the end of the original happened."

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Joining Cruise in the sequel are Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris and Val Kilmer. Top Gun: Maverick flies into theaters June 26, 2020.