Police save the day as Fight Club gets drastically different ending in China

Fight Club, released in 1999, features Brad Pitt and Edward Norton as its leading stars. Credit: 20th Century Studios/YouTube

A Chinese streaming service has altered the ending of classic Brad Pitt film Fight Club, sparking outrage among fans.

Viewers clocked that a version of the movie, available on entertainment platform Tencent Video, did not contain the film's original anarchist closing scenes, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP),

In the ending directed by David Fincher in 1999, multiple buildings explode as Edward Norton's character, The Narrator, watches on. Fincher suggests The Narrator has made good on his plan to take down modern civilisation.

However, a drastically different version is being streamed by Tencent Video, which reported around 100 million subscribers in 2019.

The exploding building scene has been replaced with a black screen, which reads: "The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding."

It adds that Brad Pitt's Tyler Durden was sent to a "lunatic asylum" for psychological treatment, despite the film previously revealing that Durden is a figment of The Narrator's imagination.

Fight Club is not the first Hollywood film that's been censored for Chinese audiences.

In 2019, moviegoers who went to see Bohemian Rhapsody, a Freddie Mercury biopic, said scenes referencing the icon's sexuality were either either abruptly muted or cut altogether.

For interviews with leading names in film and entertainment, listen to ITV News' Unscripted podcast

Deleted segments include one in which Mercury reveals to his long-time partner that he is not heterosexual. In the part of the film where Mercury tells the band that he has AIDS, the dialogue goes silent. Furthermore, China, which has one of the world's biggest box offices, has had success in pressuring American studios into creating alternate film versions by themselves.

For example, the Chinese version of 2013's Iron Man 3 featured popular Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who was absent from the version showing abroad and lengthy clips of Chinese scenery were also spliced into the blockbuster.