The 1999 hit film Fight Club starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton has been given a completely different ending in a new release on an online streaming platform in China, according to reports.
In the new version of David Fincher's cult classic film on the streaming platform Tencent Video, the movie's final scene, which shows Norton's character killing off his alter ego Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and then watching a series of high-rise building explode through a window alongside Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) has been totally edited out.
The iconic scene, played out to the tune of "Where Is My Mind?" by Pixies, was part of Durden's subversive plot to reorder society, dubbed Project Mayhem.
Police Save the Day, Durden Sent to 'Lunatic Asylym'
However, in the Chinese version, a text message appears just before the explosions. "Through the clue provided by Tyler, the police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding," a caption in the new cut says, Vice reported.
The caption adds, "After the trial, Tyler was sent to lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012."
Surprisingly, the Chinese edit is, in some ways, more accurate to the book the film is adapted from. In the novel "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk, the protagonist's bombs do fail to detonate â not because of police heroics but because Tyler Durden mixes the explosives incorrectly.
The protagonist also ends up in mental health institution, like in the Chinese edit. In the book's ending, the narrator is approached by hospital staff who reveal they're members of Durden's terrorist group and are expecting him to return.
Reactions on Social Media
While it's unknown whether the change was made to comply with government orders or censorship rules, a source told Vice that the movie was altered by the copyright owner and then greenlit by the government before it was sold to streaming sites.
The altered Fight Club ending has sparked some strong reactions on social media with many mocking the Chinese attempt at censorship.
US senator Ted Cruz, a Republican representing Texas, wrote: "The second rule of Fight Club is 'we will do and say whatever the Chinese communist censors tell us to do and say.'"
Palahniuk's tweet read, "This is SUPER wonderful! Everyone gets a happy ending in China!"
The Chinese ending even inspired some to come up with their own climax for Fight Club, such as British comedian and film-maker Matthew Highton.
Human Rights Watch called it "dystopian".