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Fight Club’s new, government-approved ending is very different in China

No buildings were harmed in the making of this Fight Club

Jack and Tyler Durden in Fight Club Photo: Twentieth Century Fox
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

David Fincher’s Fight Club has gotten a new ending in a new online release in China, Vice reports. In China, imported films are often tweaked to uphold the government’s views on law and order. For Fight Club’s pretty intense, pro-anarchy ending that meant for a serious overhaul.

The original ending of the 1999 film (ahem, spoilers ahead) sees the narrator (Edward Norton) realizing that his toxic friend Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) — who founded the titular fight club and turned it into a certifiable anarchist cult — is actually just his alter ego. Instead of stopping Tyler’s anti-consumerist plans, the narrator ends up destroying Tyler instead — and then reunites with female lead Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), as they stare out the window of a high rise and watch the buildings around them explode.

“You met me at a very strange time in my life,” he remarks as he takes her hand.

However, in the version of the film now available on Chinese streaming site Tencent Video, a black screen comes up before the building blows up. Instead of the explosions, text appears, revealing that the authorities successfully stopped Tyler’s grandiose plan for mass destruction.

“Through the clue provided by Tyler, the police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding,” reads the caption. “After the trial, Tyler was sent to lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”

It is not clear if the censorship was done by Disney — who currently owns the rights to the film — or by Tencent Video itself, though a source told Vice that the film was edited by the copyright owner before the government approved it. Screenshots of the ending started circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend. China’s censorship policy regularly retools foreign imports to reflect the views of the Communist Party, while Chinese-made films are specifically designed to avoid censorship. Some recent foreign imports to undergo cuts include Bohemian Rhapsody (2019), where scenes of drug use and gay romance were removed, and Logan (2017), where scenes of violence and nudity were cut.

In the United States, Fight Club is available on IMDBTV with ads and on Hulu with Live TV.

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