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Apparently ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Was So Good That The People Making A Ripoff In China Just Gave Up

How good was Top Gun: Maverick? So good that it kept a bald ripoff from being released. As per The Hollywood Reporter, this fall China was set to release Born to Fly, a blockbuster about a bold pilot who takes part in a top-secret military program involving advanced fighter jets. It was set to be the nation’s answer to the Top Gun sequel, which would be great because Top Gun: Maverick was never cleared for release in China. And yet its release was suddenly pulled at the last second, and a replacement date has yet to be made. No official answer has been given as to why, but sources say it’s because the producers realized it was clearly inferior. Or, put another way: Top Gun: Maverick was too damn good.

Born to Fly was a big and hotly anticipated production. It starred pop star-turned-actor Wang Yibo. It was made in cooperation with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, just as Top Gun: Maverick was made with help from the U.S. Navy. It was set to be the latest nationalistic blockbuster, much like the mega-hits Wolf Warrior 2 and The Battle at Lake Changjin. And yet it was pulled days before release. Producers put out a vague statement, claiming it was yanked “in order to present better production effects.”

Sources, however, claim it’s because producers felt the film’s “stunts and visual effects were far inferior to Top Gun: Maverick’s and that the Chinese version risked ridicule in comparison.” But that’s not all:

Some in China who have seen Born to Fly have said that the movie disappointed the Chinese air force because of both its overall perceived shabbiness and its mistaken reference to China’s proudly homemade J-20 jet as a “fourth-generation” stealth fighter, rather than, correctly, a more advanced, fifth-generation plane of its kind. Most of all, though, the original timing of the underwhelming Chinese film’s release — on Sept. 30 — couldn’t have been more fraught, coming just two weeks before the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, where Xi Jinping was anointed with an unprecedented third term as China’s top leader. It was a moment of historic political sensitivity in the country, a time when Party leadership would brook no embarrassments.

Will audiences ever see Born to Fly? Maybe, maybe not. A source told THR it was still awaiting a new release date. “It could come anytime,” they said, “or it might never come at all.”

In the meantime, in the good ol’ U.S. of A., Top Gun: Maverick just hit Paramount+. Merry Christmas to everyone.

(Via THR)