(Warning: This post features spoilers for “Minions: The Rise of Gru”).
The happy ending for young Gru and his mentor Wild Knuckles in “Minions: The Rise of Gru” apparently didn’t sit well with censors in China, as moviegoers in the country have noted that the Chinese version of the film has a significantly changed ending.
In the original film’s ending, Gru teams up with Wild Knuckles to defeat the villainous team known as the Vicious 6, but Wild Knuckles dies after being injured in the climactic fight and taken into police custody.
Or so Gru thinks. At Wild Knuckles’ funeral, the future “Despicable Me” protagonist finds out that Wild Knuckles had faked his own death, and the two drive off into the sunset for more nefarious adventures and probably, given the box office numbers, another “Minions” film.
But on Chinese social media site Weibo, as first reported by Reuters, moviegoers say the Chinese ending is very different, with a title card saying that Wild Knuckles was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his crimes while Gru “returned to his family.” The film also says that Gru’s “biggest accomplishment is being the father to his three girls” before showing an adult Gru with his three adopted daughters from the “Despicable Me” trilogy.
While there aren’t hard rules that China’s film board uses in its censorship, films in which criminals are not punished by law enforcement tend to get significant changes. This is what happened earlier this year to the 1999 film “Fight Club” when it was released on the Chinese streaming service Tencent Video, with a title card erasing its explosive ending in favor of one in which Tyler Durden’s plans to destroy global financial records are foiled by police. The original ending was restored after protests from Chinese and foreign critics alike, as well as “Fight Club” creator Chuck Palahniuk.
Universal Pictures, which produced “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” did not immediately respond to requests for comment.