Fight Club Author Reveals The One Thing He Doesn't Like About the Movie

Chuck Palahniuk wasn't a fan of the countdown at the end, but accepts it as a "trope".

The 1996 film Fight Club is a little unusual when it comes to film adaptations of novels in that the movie stayed largely true to its source material as it told the story of a frustrated, white-collar worker (The Narrator) whose mundane life is entirely upended through a chance encounter with the rebellious Tyler Durden and ends up on an anarchic spree of petty acts of vandalism throughout the city only for Tyler's plan to escalate to an attempt to blow up financial centers around the city — only for it to turn out that Tyler was all a figment of Jack's imagination. But while the film stuck close to the novel, the film did have one deviation and it's one that author Chuck Palahniuk isn't a fan of.

Speaking with Variety, Palahniuk explained that it was the "ticking bomb" countdown in the final confrontation between The Narrator (Ed Norton) and Tyler (Brad Pitt) in the David Fincher-directed film that didn't fit how he saw the story.

"I wasn't a big fan of the ticking bomb, that counting down near the end," he said. "And [screenwriter] Jim Uhls stuck it in there because there's obviously such a trope, and I've grown to accept that this is a trope."

China (Briefly) Altered Fight Club's Ending

Last year, Chinese streamer Tencent Video replaced the ending of Fight Club to show law enforcement triumphing over Tyler Durden's plans though they eventually restored the original ending of the movie. However, at the time, Palahniuk pointed out that the altered ending was actually a bit closer to the original story's ending than the 1999 movie's was. The movie's original ending had The Narrator watch Tyler's plan come to fruition as buildings blow up all over the city while China's altered ending cuts before the explosions and offered a title card reading, "Through the clue provided by Tyler, 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 lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment. He was discharged from the hospital in 2012," which more closely aligns with the book.

"The irony is that the way the Chinese have changed it is they've aligned the ending almost exactly with the ending of the book, as opposed to Fincher's ending, which was the more spectacular visual ending," the author pointed out. "So, in a way, the Chinese brought the movie back to the book a little bit."

Tyler Durden's Story Continued in Other Books

While the movie had a definitive ending, the Fight Club story actually continued in two comic book sequels, Fight Club 2 in 2015 and Fight Club 3 in 2019.

"Fight Club 3 is about what happens when you need to team up with your enemy," Palahniuk said about the third book in a statement at the time. "And the situation is even more complicated here, given Tyler Durden and Balthazar's unique relationship. And, yes, bodily fluids will be exchanged."

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