China firm pulls out funding from Top Gun, says it’s too Pro American

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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. TCEHY -0.39%▼ 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.

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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.

www.wsj.com/articles/top-gun-maverick-loses-chinese-investor-due-to-pro-u-s-messaging-11653643803

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