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• x007 Fight Club Other & Photoshoot
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• x020 October 16, 2014 – Jimmy Fallon (screencaps)
• x001 OUATIH – On set (10/24/18)
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One of the most surprising stories of 2022 so far has been the discovery that a new Chinese cut of Fight Club ends with considerably less mayhem than the version seen everywhere else in the world. David Fincher’s satire of toxic masculinity and capitalism recently came to streaming service Tencent Video, where it ended not with collapsing city blocks to the strains of Pixies classic ‘Where Is My Mind?’, but with the following text card: “Through the clue provided by Tyler, the police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding. After the trial, Tyler was sent to [a] lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.” It’s not far off ‘Poochie died on the way back to his home planet’ for abrupt text-based closers – and now, Fincher himself has spoken out about the edit.
A bizarre ending had been added to a Chinese cut of Fight Club but the film has since had its original ending restored.
Fight Club is now streaming in China with its original ending intact. Recently, the film had made headlines when it was reported that a Chinese cut of the film had heavily censored the ending. Rather than featuring the original movie’s climax with buildings exploding as Tyler Durden carries out his master plan, China’s version censored the film so the cops would win. The new ending explained this with a title card that was abruptly shown to viewers before the credit rolled.
The 1999 cult classic was recently released on China’s biggest streamer with a very different finale.
There’s one person who doesn’t seem too fussed by the new censored Chinese ending to the 1999 film Fight Club — and that’s author Chuck Palahniuk.
“The irony is that the way the Chinese have changed it is they’ve aligned the ending almost exactly with the ending of the book, as opposed to Fincher’s ending, which was the more spectacular visual ending,” he said. “So in a way, the Chinese brought the movie back to the book a little bit.”
A Chinese streaming service has started carrying the 1999 cult film favorite Fight Club—but with a very different ending to the surprise of viewers.
While Edward Norton’s character is seen at the end of the original version watching buildings explode after killing off Tyler Durden, his imaginary alter ego played by Brad Pitt, the version on Tencent Video fades to black before the explosions begin and displays a brief message.
“Through the clue provided by Tyler, the police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding. After the trial, Tyler was sent to lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012,” the message read.
Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club is a story told by an unreliable narrator about the ways wounded masculinity can become toxic masculinity — and how a populist movement can curdle into something far more violent and authoritarian. It’s an unlikely choice for the source material for a cult-classic film, and yet that’s exactly what it’s become over the years, with David Fincher’s 1999 adaptation of it continuing to spark debate decades after its release.
Adam Nayman’s new book David Fincher: Mind Games explores the director’s work to date, including a detailed look at how his adaptation of Fight Club came together, an excerpt from which recently showed up at Literary Hub.
It’s an intriguing glimpse into the creative process, and, given that both Fincher and Norton would go on to direct other high-profile literary adaptations, it’s also an interesting piece of foreshadowing for the careers that would follow, long after an unexpected cult classic first hit theaters.