Chinese Streaming Service Tencent Video Changes the Fate of Brad Pitt’s Fight Club Character

Chinese Streaming Service Tencent Video Changes the Fate of Brad Pitt’s Fight Club Character

Chinese streaming service Tencent Video has released a new edited version of Fight Club that replaces its original iconic ending. In a move of steamrolling censorship, the film’s new conclusion features an abrupt message that states the authorities triumphed over the titular criminal organization by apprehending all of its members, Time is reporting.

Subscribers of the streaming service mocked the company’s newly abridged and altered ending of the drama, which has garnered a cult following since its theatrical release in October 1999. Viewers are upset that the changes Tencent Video made distort the original movie’s message and intent.

The original Fight Club, which is based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, culminates in Edward Norton’s unnamed narrator killing off his alter ego, Tyler Durden, who’s played by Brad Pitt. That action setts off a chain of explosions across Los Angeles that destroy all bank and credit records, which resets the economy. The sequence isn’t present in the psychological thriller’s new Chinese version, which treats the story’s Project Mayhem undertaking as a misguided attempt at criminality that had to be thwarted.

The film’s new version from Tencent Video tells viewers that “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 streaming service also added a twist ending that states: “After the trial, Tyler was sent to [a] lunatic asylum [where he received] psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012.”

Tencent Holdings has declined to comment on who ordered its change to Fight Club’s ending. However, the drama’s rights were held by Pacific Audio & Video Co., an affiliate of the state-owned Guangdong TV. Therefore, the movie’s new edited version was approved by the government before it was sold to streaming sites.

The change in Fight Club‘s concision in China, over 22 years after its initial theatrical distribution, is an unreasonable action to take against its director, David Fincher, screenwriter Jim Uhls and the rest of its crew and cast members. For years, foreign filmmakers have altered content in their projects before they’re released to get past Beijing censors. However, it’s rare for entire endings to get reversed, especially for older movies that millions of people in the country could have seen pirated copies of already.

“Under president Xi Jinping, Chinese authorities have pushed to purge society of elements deemed unhealthy, including scenes within movies, television and video games,” the Guardian is reporting. However, it’s not clear if government censors ordered the change in Fight Club‘s ending or if the feature’s original producers made the changes.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

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