Warning: This post contains spoilers for the 1999 film Fight Club.
When it came out almost a quarter century ago, Fight Club was — and very much still is — one of the most radical and politically charged movies ever released by a major Hollywood studio. It turned one of the biggest dreamboats, Brad Pitt, into an anti-capitalist cheerleader who advocated dropping out of society, destroying property, and slipping lone frames of hardcore pornography into animated family fare. (He also forms an all-incel terrorist organization that now seems like a precursor to the Proud Boys, lest you forget.) It even enraged Rosie O’Donnell.
In any case, it took some 23 years for one nation to realize it was too subversive for the masses. According to Variety, Tencent Video, the largest streamer in China, recently released a new version of the film, which now has a new and “happier” ending. In the 1999 original, Edward Norton’s protagonist thwarts terrorist leader Tyler Durden (Pitt), who it turns out is really his alter ego. Newly cured, he holds hands with lady friend Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) as the bombs Tyler and team planted go off anyway, destroying buildings that had been evacuated of people, all while wiping out the nation’s credit card information.
Well, no more, at least not in China! Their version ends before the buildings explode, cutting instead to a title card explaining that Durden, who again it’s revealed is actually Norton, gets busted.
Chinese censors proves that they are not just good at deleting contents by adding a happy ending to Fight Club.
— Henry Gao (@henrysgao) January 23, 2022
“The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding,” reads the new card. “After the trial, Tyler was sent to lunatic asylum [sic] receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”
Well, at least Tyler Durden has back amongst us for a good decade.
It’s not clear exactly how this new ending came about, but China’s censors are famously vigilant, removing anything that could disturb social order, celebrate criminal behavior or, well, show people of the same gender kissing. (They also do things like add scenes to Marvel movies in which characters praise Chinese scientists.)
At least audiences in China can finally see Fight Club. When it was first released in 1999, Pitt’s movies were still banned because he starred in 1997’s Seven Years in Tibet, which showed the Dalai Lama before China’s invasion of his nation. The nation’s ban on Pitt films lasted all the way up to Allied, in 2016.
When news of the censored ending hit the news, some people naturally made Poochie jokes.
Did you hear China gave FIGHT CLUB a new ending??? pic.twitter.com/Q6Xyg5WSTM
— Jenelle Riley (@jenelleriley) January 25, 2022
In the meantime, you can watch Fight Club on Amazon Prime. And you can see the original version of that ending below.