As the author of the novel the movie is based on, no one is better placed than Chuck Palahniuk to assess Fight Club as a film. In many ways, the David Fincher-directed movie was a success. Not only is it widely considered by critics to be one of the best ’90s movies out there — some would go as far as to name it as one of the best movies of all time.
But in an interview with Variety, Palahniuk opened up about what it’s like to watch a movie based on a book — and more specifically, one of the page-to-screen changes that he didn’t necessarily agree with.
Fight Club follows an unnamed Narrator (Edward Norton) and soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), who decide to form an underground fight club in order to counteract the mundanity in both their lives. When Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) comes on the scene, things become all the more complicated, and the fight club is left is jeopardy.
In its transition to the big screen, Fincher added certain elements to make the film unique — but there’s one thing Palahniuk didn’t like.
“I wasn’t a big fan of the ticking bomb that counting down clock near the end,” he told Variety. “And [screenwriter] Jim Uhls stuck it in because there’s obviously such a trope, and I’ve grown to accept that it is a trope.”
Since its release in 1999, Fight Club has always been divisive. After its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, there were just as many critics lauding it the best drama movie of all time as there were ones branding it the worst.
Actual fight clubs even cropped up in the US after the film’s release, which, to be honest… completely misses the point of not just the film, but the book, too. But cringey trope or not, nobody can deny Fight Club’s cultural impact.
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