Fight Club follows the story of a depressed man (Norton) suffering from insomnia, who meets a strange soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Pitt) and soon finds himself living in his squalid house after his perfect apartment is destroyed.
The two bored men form an underground club with strict rules and fight other men who are fed up with their mundane lives. Their perfect partnership frays when Marla (Carter), a fellow support group crasher, attracts Tyler’s attention.
Viewers noticed that the closing scene of the film was changed due to restrictive censorship rules in the country.
In the original, The Narrator (Norton), kills off his imaginary alter ego Tyler, and then watches multiple buildings explode, suggesting his character’s plan to bring down modern civilisation is afoot.
However, in the Chinese version of the hit film, The Narrator kills Tyler, and the exploding scene is replaced with a black screen with the caption: “The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding”.
It also says that Tyler was sent to a “lunatic system” for treatment.
This change has sparked outrage among fans.
“This s*** sucks,” wrote one fan. “Companies shouldn’t completely change the intent and purpose of films just to sell out in Chinese markets.”
Another person wrote: “The first rule of Fight Club in China? Don’t mention the original ending. The second rule of Fight Club in China? Change it so the police win.”
Chinese censors proves that they are not just good at deleting contents by adding a happy ending to Fight Club.
I wonder whether this violates the copyright of the movie? https://t.co/8rjcBpnjLT pic.twitter.com/ExYnTEY6gC
— Henry Gao (@henrysgao) January 23, 2022
FIGHT CLUB’s ending for the Chinese release (on Tencent Video) was changed to this and now I’m waiting for someone to fanfic a sequel based on this censored ending. pic.twitter.com/zYB0bY3Dlp
— Courtney Howard @ #Sundance (@Lulamaybelle) January 24, 2022
It’s not clear who exactly is responsible for the change. The Independent has contacted Tencent Video for comment.
This is not the first time a film’s scenes have been changed in China.
In 2019, many scenes in the film Bohemian Rhapsody referencing Freddie Mercury’s sexuality were removed in its China release.
And in 2020, the China Independent Film Festival (CIFF) was “halted indefinitely” following the crackdown on freedom of expression under Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Many of the films at the festival, which was founded in 2003, tackled issues such as homosexuality and political history deemed sensitive or inappropriate by the Communist Party.