China’s product censorships already took a toll on many movies, especially the Hollywood ones.
Back in 2019, multiple scenes from Bohemian Rhapsody referencing Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury’s sexuality–were dumped in the Chinese release.
But it seems just dropping some scenes wasn’t enough for David Fincher’s 1999 classic Fight Club.
China’s Communist Party seems determined to nip Fincher’s anarchist and anti-capitalist messages in the bud. And they opted to alter the ending and add some creativity to it.
Instead of killing the narrator’s imaginary alter ego Tyler Durden and proceeding to the explosion scene, in this new released Fight Club version in Tencent Videos, they showed a black screen after the Durden scene with a coda :
“The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding” and adds that Durden was sent to a “lunatic asylum” for psychological treatment and was later discharged.
The plot altering saw a massive wave of complaints, especially from the viewers that had seen the original version before.
“Fight Club on Tencent Video tells us that they don’t just delete scenes, but add to the plot too,” one user complained on China’s social media platform, Weibo.
“I’d rather see Tencent pull this film. What you are propagating here is not ‘positive energy’. What are you trying to achieve by changing the ending?” add another viewer on Douban.
Some even speculated beyond that. Dr. How Wee Ng who teaches Chinese film and media at the University of Westminster implies that this alternative ending is an attempt to shine a positive light on what their state is doing.
“The new Chinese version of Fight Club puts power back into the hands of the police and implies an ideal closure in line with the Chinese state discourse in which the symbiotic relationship between the police and the state is a given.”
It is unclear whether the Chinese government specifically ordered the alternative ending or it’s the initiative of the original movie’s producers as Tencent went totally silent on the matter.
They censored this? pic.twitter.com/jveqRN78UQ
— Floyd (@Floyds_Archives) January 24, 2022