David Fincher Reacts to China’s New ‘Fight Club’ Ending: “It Makes No Sense to Me

The bizarre saga of how Chinese censors changed the ending to David Fincher’s Fight Club is mercifully over after streamer Tencent Video restored the film to its original form.

It’s funny to me that the people who wrote the Band-Aid [ending] in China must have read the book because it adheres pretty closely,” Fincher told Empire. He’s of course referring to Chuck Palahniuk’s original Fight Club novel, which ends with the Narrator in an asylum after Project Mayhem falls through and his failed attempt at suicide leaves him alive.

China’s ending differs a little with “Tyler” (Brad Pitt) being admitted to an asylum after being caught by police and eventually rehabilitating into society, but the similarities are there nonetheless.

While the ‘trims’ are more significant than that word implies, Fincher is less frustrated, more bemused by the whole situation. “If you don’t like this story, why would you license this movie?” he asks. “It makes no sense to me when people go, ‘I think it would be good for our service if we had your title on it… we just want it to be a different movie.’ The fucking movie is 20 years old. It’s not like it had a reputation for being super cuddly.” We are Jack’s hastily-slapped-on happy ending.

Funnily enough, the Chinese cut of Fight Club more closely resembles the ending of the novel on which it’s based. At the end of the book, Jack is institutionalized. Writer Chuck Palahniuk also caught wind of the censored Chinese ending, and he sarcastically endorsed the happy ending. If, as Fincher suggests, the censors were in fact big fans of Fight Club the book, surely they recognize the irony of an authority figure stepping in to establish order.

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