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David Fincher on ‘Fight Club’ censored ending: “It makes no sense to me”

The film's ending was recently censored in China, before being restored

By Will Richards

A still of a scene from David Fincher's 'Fight Club'
Fight Club (Picture: Press)

David Fincher has responded to the ending of his 1999 film ‘Fight Club’ being censored in China, saying it “makes no sense” to him.

Last month news of the edited ending to David Fincher’s 1999 film made international headlines. The cult classic ends with the Narrator (Edward Norton) realising that Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) is a mental projection. He kills Durden and the closing scene shows buildings exploding and collapsing.

In the edited version, the explosion scene was removed and viewers were told that the state foiled Durden’s plans and was sent to a psychiatric hospital for psychological treatment.

The original ending of the film was then mostly restored on Chinese streaming platform Tencent Video after an altered ending prompted outcries of censorship.

The service has reportedly restored about 11 of the 12 minutes that were cut, but still omitted a sex scene.

In a new interview with Empire, Fincher said: “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,” he said of the novel on which ‘Fight Club’ is based and its similarities to the censored ending.

Fincher added: “Here’s what we know. A company licensed the film from New Regency to show it in China, with a boilerplate [contract]: ‘You have to understand cuts may be made for censorship purposes.’ No one said, ‘If we don’t like the ending, can we change it?’ So there’s now a discussion being had as to what ‘trims’ means.

“If you don’t like this story, why would you license this movie? 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.”

‘Fight Club’ author Chuck Palahniuk responded to the news after the censorship was revealed, appearing to find the censorship both funny and bewildering, writing on his Twitter with a link to a report: “Have You Seen This Sh*t? This is SUPER wonderful! Everyone gets a happy ending in China!”