Show caption Good vibrations … Helena Bonham Carter as Marla Singer in Fight Club. Photograph: 20th Century Fox/Allstar Film Fight Club author praises Chinese cut of film: ‘Super wonderful!’ Chuck Palahniuk described the plot change, which involves police foiling an anarchist conspiracy, as aligning more closely to his original novel than David Fincher’s film Catherine Shoard @catherineshoard Thu 27 Jan 2022 14.50 GMT Share on Facebook
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The author of Fight Club has praised the “happy ending” afforded to David Fincher’s film of his book for a new Chinese cut of the movie.
Chuck Palahniuk described the change, in which the police successfully foil an anarchist plot and the heroes are incarcerated, as “SUPER wonderful”.
Palahniuk told TMZ: “The irony is that … they’ve aligned the ending almost exactly with the ending of the book, as opposed to Fincher’s ending, which was the more spectacular visual ending. So in a way, the Chinese brought the movie back to the book a little bit.”
The conclusion of the 1999 film in its original cut sees Ed Norton’s narrator realise that the character played by Brad Pitt is in fact a projection of his own mind. He then stands on top of a tower block and witnesses the plan overseen by his alter ego to destroy consumerism begin to take effect, as the skyscrapers around him explode.
The Chinese version distributed by streaming service Tencent Video instead ends with a caption telling viewers that police uncovered the plot in time and arrested all criminals. The character played by Pitt was put on trial, according to the new edit, before being “sent to a lunatic asylum, receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”
Palahniuk initially responded to reports detailing the change by saying: “This is SUPER wonderful! Everyone gets a happy ending in China!”
He consolidated his thoughts on Substack, calling the incarceration of Pitt’s character: “Amazing. I’d no idea! Justice always wins. Nothing ever exploded. Fini.”
He added: “My guess is they also omit the flash of penis at the end. And that they pixelate the dildo in Marla’s room. Crime does not pay!”
The news on Wednesday of the re-edit was met with outrage on social media, but Palahniuk said he was already used to his books being changed in some countries, and even banned in some parts of America.
“The strange flip side is that in many foreign markets the publisher rewrote the novel so it would end like the film,” he wrote. “Without permission, I might add.”
Palahniuk added to TMZ: “What I find really interesting is that my books are heavily banned throughout the US. 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.”