A few weeks back, The A.V. Club reported on the Chinese streaming service Tencent Video that was running an edited version of Fight Club. The edited ending cut out a sex scene, some notable nudity, and altered the film’s climax in such a way that some fans thought undermined the film. As of today, the original ending has been restored on the streamer, per CNN.
The final shot of Edward Norton’s Narrator and Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) originally featured the duo holding hands as buildings exploded and collapsed in the distance, erasing all debt and back records bringing everyone back to zero and essentially destroying consumerism.
The Tencent ending excised that shot and added a title card explaining that Tyler Durden’s plan to erase all debt records was foiled by the authorities. Durden was then committed to a mental hospital, and eventually released in 2012.
It’s not uncommon for films that make their way to China to be re-edited to make sure that crime doesn’t pay, as well as removing subversive concepts, nudity, and gore in a way that’s actually quite reminiscent of Hollywood’s old Hays Code guidelines.
However, despite outrage from fans of the film (who may not have read the book) Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk was quick to point out that the new title card is actually closer to the ending of his original novel. The author told TMZ that “overseas publishers have been editing his novel to make it more like the film” and that he’s dealt with just as much censorship stateside, calling out Texas in particular.
It was never confirmed whether the Tencent Video release was in fact government-approved, but all is still not right in the world of Tyler Durden. The new cut still removes the old ending’s nudity, presumably the spliced-in shot of a big ‘ol penis that helped put a button on the picture.