“The Chinese brought the movie back to the book a little bit,” author Chuck Palahniuk said of the controversial recut climax.
We may not be our jobs, but novelist Chuck Palahniuk still finds hilarity in his work.
The “Fight Club” author weighed in on the Chinese government censoring the ending of David Fincher’s 1999 film adaptation.
Instead of the original ending showing Narrator (Edward Norton) blowing up a city skyline, the online release in China cut the explosion and added a caption to assure viewers that the Narrator aka the real Tyler Durden was apprehended by authorities.
“Through the clue provided by Tyler, the police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding,” the title card reads. “After the trial, Tyler was sent to lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”
Palahniuk told TMZ that the recut ending actually bears more similarity to his original novel’s conclusion.
“The irony is that the way the Chinese have changed it is they’ve aligned the ending almost exactly with the ending of the book, as opposed to Fincher’s ending, which was the most spectacular visual ending,” Palahniuk said. “So in a way, the Chinese brought the movie back to the book a little bit.”
In the novel, Tyler’s bombs actually malfunctioned, and he ended up shooting himself before waking up in a mental hospital.
“My books are heavily banned throughout the US,” Palahniuk pointed out. “The Texas prison system refuses to carry my books in their libraries. A lot of public schools and most private schools refuse to carry my books. But it’s only an issue once China changes the end of a movie? I’ve been putting up with book banning for a long time.”
Moviegoers in China have shared their dissatisfaction over the swapped ending.
“This is too outrageous,” a viewer commented on streaming site Tencent Video (via The Guardian). Another added on Chinese social media site Weibo, ”’Fight Club’ on Tencent Video tells us that they don’t just delete scenes, but add to the plot too.”
The Cyberspace Administration of China announced January 25 that the government sect was launching a month-long “clean” web campaign to create a “civilized and healthy” internet over the Lunar New Year holiday.