Creative liberties come with the territory when it comes to adapting stories. In the case of David Fincher’s Fight Club, the ending of his movie differed greatly from what happened at the end of Chuck Palahniuk’s original novel, though it arguably retained the same spirit. However, the same can’t be said for a version of Fight Club currently streaming in China, which has a bizarre new ending.
As those who’ve seen Fight Club will remember (and if you haven’t, SPOILER alert for a movie that came out in 1999), it wraps up with Edward Norton’s Narrator realizing that he and Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden are one and the same. The Narrator kills Tyler after firing a gun through his cheek, but in the movie’s final seconds, he and Helena Bonham Carter’s Marla Singer watch as Project Mayhem lives on, with the explosives planted earlier destroying the nearby buildings that contained credit card records.
That’s not the case in the version of Fight Club that’s available on the Chinese streaming service Tencent Video. Instead, this Fight Club ends before the buildings explode and displays the following text in the final seconds:
While it’s unclear if this Fight Club edit was a result of self-censorship or being mandated by China’s government, Vice heard from a source that the edit came from the copyright owner, and then was approved by the government before sold to streaming services for distribution. Regardless, this is quite the 180 from the rest of how Fight Club flows. Instead of Tyler Durden’s scheme still unfolding, not only do the police manage to foil it, but the Narrator (identified as Tyler, even though we never learn his true name) is sent to a mental hospital for over a decade.
The altered Fight Club ending was met with disappointment by many on Chinese social media who enjoy the original cut. Still, given how strict China often is with censoring movies, TV shows and other forms of media, this isn’t too much of a shocker. So if you want to watch Fight Club in its original form in China, you’ll have to make do with finding a bootleg copy. Those of you located in the United States can stream it on Amazon Prime Video.
Although Fight Club was met with polarizing critical reception when it played in theaters and only made a little over $101 million off a budget somewhere between $63-65 million, it experienced more success on home video and settled in nicely as a cult favorite. Last summer, author Stephen King watched David Fincher’s fourth directorial endeavor for the first time, though to be fair, he’d suffered a terrible accident when Fight Club was originally released, so it make sense he missed out on it. Sadly, one of the members of the Fight Club cast is no longer with us, as Meat Loaf, who played Robert Paulson, passed away last week at the age of 74.
Looking to the future, David Finch’s next movie on deck is The Killer, which stars Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton. Production began in November and the completed product will premiere on Netflix. As always, keep your eyes locked on CinemaBlend for all the biggest news concerning upcoming movies.