Fight Club Finally Screens In China, With A, Uh, Pretty Different Ending

If you felt the collective tension rising from every guy in college who ever wrote "I am Jack's complete lack of surprise" in crude Sharpie on the side of their Chuck Taylors, you're not alone. The "Fight Club" fanboy Spidey-senses must be tingling as the long-banned film has finally screened in China, albeit with a whopper of an ending change. American films have long been edited or censored to accommodate the requirements of foreign markets, with China perhaps the most profitable. American imports are typically altered to match the Chinese government's moral standards, which always prioritize law enforcement as the ultimate hero, regardless of what the film's original message was supposed to say.

David Fincher's iconic 1999 film ends with the Narrator (Edward Norton) finally killing his split personality Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) for good, as he holds hands with Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) as they watch all of the buildings downtown explode and crumble to the ground. The Narrator rid himself of Tyler Durden, but not before fulfilling "Project Mayhem," Tyler's plan to wipe out all debt by destroying the skyscrapers that house all of the information servers for the largest banks in the world. It's a powerful, anarchist ending that points the system as the villain, and the Narrator/Tyler as a hero of the people. Death to consumerism. Death to capitalism. Death to the banks. Obviously, this kind of ending didn't fly with the Chinese government, so they, uh ...made some changes.

I Am Jack's Failed Bombing Attempt

Well, the Chinese edit of "Fight Club" completely omits the explosive ending in favor of a title card explaining that the exact opposite has taken place. According to a report from Vice, the Chinese streaming site Tenecent Video offers a display letting viewers know that Tyler's plan was thwarted by the almighty state, and the Narrator was taken in for serious mental health assistance.

"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 said. "After the trial, Tyler was sent to lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012."

It's still unknown if the film was sent over with self-censorship or if this was done by government order, but Vice noted that a source believed the film was edited by the copyright owner and then approved by the government before it was sold to streaming sites for distribution. "Fight Club" was shown as part of the Shanghai International Film Festival, but is presumed to have been pirated many times. The Chinese publisher of the film, Pacific Audio & Video Co., is an affiliate of the state-owned Guangdong TV, so there's a chance that it was a government order, but we don't know for sure. It also remains unknown if the theatrical version was also altered. There's also the possibility that this didn't actually happen and it's all in our mind, our own personal Tyler Durden's messing with us just for a good laugh.