Most of Fight Club‘s original ending has been restored on Chinese streaming service Tencent Video following cuts to its conclusion.
Last month, the 1999 film hit headlines after it emerged that its final scenes had been altered on the platform, replacing The Narrator (Edward Norton) killing of imaginary alter ego Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and watching buildings collapse.
Instead, a blank slate reads: “The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding. After the trial, Tyler was sent to a lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment.”
Following a backlash, however, Tencent has now reportedly restored 11 of the 12 minutes cut in its version, only keeping a sex scene between Durden and Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) out.
China has strict rules on censorship, which may have explained the original cut ending, though it is unclear if the backlash has led to the restoration. NME has reached out to Tencent Video for further comment.
The outcry to the altered ending led to a response from Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk, who wrote the original 1996 book the film is based on.
“Tyler and the gang were all arrested. He was tried and sentenced to a mental asylum. How amazing,” Palahniuk wrote sarcastically. “I’d no idea! Justice always wins. Nothing ever exploded. Fini.”
He added: “Have you seen this shit? This is SUPER wonderful! Everyone gets a happy ending in China!”
Palahniuk later argued that the changed ending was actually more in line with his novel in a subsequent interview with TMZ.
“The irony is that the way the Chinese have changed it, they aligned the ending almost exactly with the ending of the book, as opposed to [David] Fincher’s ending, which was the more spectacular visual ending,” he said. “So in a way, the Chinese brought the ending back to the book a little bit.”