Original ending of 'Fight Club' restored in China following backlash

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Feb 07, 2022, 10:38 PM(IST)

In this picture, Hollywood actor Brad Pitt can be seen in the 'Fight Club' Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

Directed by David Fincher, the film stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter and was released in 1999. 

The original ending of the Hollywood classic 'Fight Club' has been restored on the Chinese streaming platform Tencent Video following widespread backlash. 

The streaming platform had earlier altered the film's ending in the Chinese edition to tell viewers, police had "rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals". The move had been criticised by fans. 

Directed by David Fincher, the film stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter and was released in 1999. 

In the edited version, Edward Norton’s character, the narrator, still kills off his imaginary alter ego Tyler Durden, but a subsequent scene showing high-rise buildings being bombed was edited out in the Chinese version. Instead, viewers were shown a blank screen with text telling them authorities had won out.

“The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding,” the text said. “After the trial, Tyler was sent to lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012."

The ending reportedly got a makeover as the original was considered, anarchist. The new ending had the state winning which perhaps goes with the line of thought of the country. 

China is known to have one of the most restrictive censorship rules in the world and often foreign films are edited according to the censor rules. Reversing endings is usually rare. 

Viewers in China noticed the changes after they compared it to the original ending which is locally available. Censorship or banning of foreign films in China is common, but the wholesale reversal of 'Fight Club's' ending led to a major backlash. 

“'Fight Club' on Tencent Video tells us that they don’t just delete scenes, but add to the plot too,” one user complained at the time. Human Rights Watch described the cuts as “dystopian”.

Following criticism, the OTT platform restored the original ending over the weekend - reported fans on social media. But the decision also drew criticism. 

Some netizens said it showed that Tencent was admitting that the original censorship was “too much." “If the original version can also be launched, why did Tencent modify it without authorisation," asked another user. 

Read in App