China Changed The 'Fight Club' Ending To Be Pro-Police & It's Unintentionally Hilarious
Spoiler alert: the government wins!
The first rule of Fight Club is you should obey the authorities at all times.
The classic anti-establishment movie from 1999 just got a bizarre update to make it more government-friendly in China, and the changes are both hilarious and disturbing.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
In the original version of the movie, Edward Norton's unnamed protagonist kills his alter ego, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), then watches as a bunch of bank buildings explode. He basically blows up the modern financial system so that people can live free from rules, debt and consumerism.
20th Century Studios | YouTube
But that's not the case in China's new version of the film, which reportedly appeared this month on China's largest video streaming service, Tencent Video.
China's version of the movie cut out the final scene where the buildings explode and rewrote the ending with a block of text, according to CNN.
Censors replaced the ending with a title card that gives police the win, rather than letting society fall apart.
"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 new ending reads. "After the trial, Tyler was sent to [a] lunatic asylum (sic) receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012."
In other words, the anarchists get punished and society doesn't change.
China's alternate ending may have taken some inspiration from the 1996 Chuck Palahniuk novel, which also ends with the narrator waking up in a mental hospital. However, in that version, the explosives simply malfunction rather than being diffused by the police.
It's unclear when the movie was altered, but it caused a stir with Chinese fans this month, CNN reports.
China maintains its own closed-off, heavily monitored version of the internet, and its censors are constantly on the lookout for political dissent and anything else that's deemed to be a threat to Chinese society.
The list of censored topics is long and extremely wide-ranging, according to reports out of China.
Citizens can't talk openly about the Tiananmen Square massacre of protesters in 1989, or about the ongoing persecution of minority Uyghurs in western China, for instance. They also can't even share images of Winnie the Pooh, after he was used as a meme to mock the president several years ago.
That censorship has also led to other movies being edited or having scenes cut, including Alien: Covenant and Bohemian Rhapsody, according to Variety.
However, China is not the only country that edits movies before accepting them into the country.
"It is not unusual for products to be modified in order to be compliant with national laws and regulations," an executive who works on importing films to China told Variety.
"It is better to have 99.9% of the film shown legally to tens of millions of people than to not have it shown at all. I think it's a win-win situation."