David Fincher’s "Fight Club" has been given a new ending in China to show audiences that law enforcement, on the side of justice, triumphs over criminals.
The 1999 cult classic film originally ends with the narrator killing off his alter ego, Tyler Durden, and setting off a series of explosions that destroys all bank and credit records, ultimately resetting the economy.
However, the new online release in China features an ending that is very different — one that comes with a message saying all criminals were apprehended and the authorities triumphed, according to Vice.
"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 revised version tells viewers. "After the trial, Tyler was sent to lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012."
The film's rights were held by Pacific Audio & Video Co., which is an affiliate of the state-owned Guangdong TV. A source familiar with the matter told Vice that the film was edited by the copyright owner and then approved by the government before being sold to streaming sites for distribution.
By the weekend, screenshots of the new ending went viral on Chinese social media, with many fans of the original film taking issue with the new ending.
"There is no point watching this film without that scene," a person commented on the microblogging site Weibo, according to Vice.
"Probably Ocean’s 11 would have all been arrested. The Godfather’s entire family would end up in jail," another person added.
According to Bloomberg, "Lord of War," which stars Nicolas Cage as an arms smuggler, is another film to have been edited in China. The outlet noted that the final 30 minutes have been edited out and instead replaced with white text on a black box saying "Yuri Orlov confessed all the crimes officially charged against him in court, and was sentenced to life imprisonment in the end."
It is not unheard of for foreign filmmakers to alter or tone down content in order to get past Beijing censors, but it's less common for entire endings to get reversed — especially with classic films that have been seen by millions via pirated copies already. And many find it disturbing and frustrating.
As one commentator on Weibo noted: "When people tell you that the hero of Shawshank ended up in prison again, there’s no explosion in Fight Club, and Nicolas Cage was arrested, you’ll question if your memory exists for real."
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