'Fight Club' ending in China has been restored after internet backlash over radical changes

·2 min read

The first, obvious rule of the "Fight Club" is: Don't mess with the ending of the 1999 cult classic starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.

Lesson learned.

China’s internet giant Tencent Video has restored the original ending to the film on its video streaming service after changes to the final scene sparked international backlash last month.

The South China Morning Post reported that Tencent backtracked, putting 11 out of the 12 minutes of the original, explosive ending back. The film's Project Mayhem succeeds once again in blowing up a skyline of buildings in an ending that had been drastically altered last month. Some scenes featuring nudity were not restored.

The changes in China to David Fincher's "Fight Club," which came more than two decades after the original release, prompted criticism far beyond disgruntled movie fans. The advocacy group Human Rights Watch tweeted that the changed ending was "dystopian."

Brad Pitt admits: He's forgotten the first rule of 'Fight Club'

"Fight Club" features Ed Norton's unnamed character starting the brawling group with Brad Pitt's charismatic Tyler Durden. The randomly violent group transforms to an anti-materialistic movement called Project Mayhem.

Norton's narrator discovers that Durden was actually his own violent imaginary alter ego and kills him off. In the original, and restored ending, Norton's narrator stares out of office windows with his girlfriend (Helena Bonham Carter) as buildings detonate – Durden's final incendiary push against consumerism.

How China had changed the 'Fight Club' ending

CNN Business and the BBC reported last month that the Chinese changed ending erased the entire explosive final scene. In this altered ending, the mayhem was replaced with text onscreen telling audiences that authorities arrived just in time to save the day.

"Through the clue provided by Tyler, the police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding," the caption reads. "After the trial, Tyler was sent to (a) lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012."

Author Chuck Palahniuk, who wrote the 1996 novel "Fight Club" that was adapted for the screen, tweeted sarcastically about the change.

"This is SUPER wonderful!" he wrote. "Everyone gets a happy ending in China!"

In a follow-up tweet, Palahniuk decried U.S. censorship of "Fight Club," stating his novel is banned in the Texas prison system. "Is that censorship? Or can only China censor things?" he tweeted. "Please hit me back."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Fight Club' ending restored in China after internet backlash

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