Chinese streaming service Tencent Video has restored the original ending to Fight Club in its roster, after initially censoring it in favor of an alternative.
Late in January, Tencent Video added David Fincher’s classic film to its roster, before drawing headlines for the censorship. Now, just a few weeks later, the decision to change the ending has been reversed and Fight Club’s ending can now be experienced as intended on the streaming service, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
In the climax of the film, Edward Norton’s character kills off his imaginary alter ego and the film closes out watching buildings explode through the city’s skyline suggesting that his crusade to destroy consumerist society has kicked off.
In the altered version that was first made available in China, this sequence is completely removed with the production opting to transition to text providing a message to the viewers of what happened to finish the film.
“The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding,” the text reads.
“After the trial, Tyler was sent to a lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”
Censorship like this is common in Chinese films as typically the criminal always faces punishment for their actions at the conclusion of the film.
While the change sparked outrage among fans, the original writer of the story Chuck Palahnuik shared that he thinks the Chinese version almost replicates his story’s ending better than the theatrical cut.
In Palahnuik’s book, the narrator ultimately fails to execute his plan due to a malfunctioning bomb. Following this, he shoots himself in the head and wakes up inside a mental hospital. This ending is somewhat similar to the altered version as opposed to Fincher’s ending “which was the more spectacular visual ending.”
Since this backlash, Tencent Video has brought back almost all of the original ending with around one minute still gone consisting of nudity and sex scenes.