This backfires when instead of having an "affair" with Marla, Tyler burns down their family home and apparently — but not actually — kills their son. The fire sparks something in Sebastian, who learns his father was killed in a similar fire.
For academic interpretations of the film, see Interpretations of Fight Club. We're designed to be hunters and we're in a society of shopping.
There's nothing to kill anymore, there's nothing to fight, nothing to overcome, nothing to explore. In that societal emasculation this everyman [the Narrator] is created. Fincher described the Narrator as an " everyman ";  the character is identified in the script as "Jack", but left unnamed in the film.
By the start of the film, he has "killed off" his parents. With Tyler Durden, he kills his god by doing things they are not supposed to do. To complete the process of maturing, the Narrator has to kill his teacher, Tyler Durden. While Tyler is who the Narrator wants to be, he is not empathetic and does not help the Narrator face decisions in his life "that are complicated and have moral and ethical implications".
Fincher explained: "[Tyler] can deal with the concepts of our lives in an idealistic fashion, but it doesn't have anything to do with the compromises of real life as modern man knows it. Which is: you're not really necessary to a lot of what's going on. It's built, it just needs to run now.
The Narrator is comfortable being personally connected to Tyler, but becomes jealous when Tyler becomes sexually involved with Marla. When the Narrator argues with Tyler about their friendship, Tyler tells him that being friends is secondary to pursuing the philosophy they have been exploring.
While Tyler desires "real experiences" of actual fights like the Narrator at first,  he manifests a nihilistic attitude of rejecting and destroying institutions and value systems. Tyler's initiatives and methods become dehumanizing;  he orders around the members of Project Mayhem with a megaphone similar to camp directors at Chinese re-education camps.
Fincher described the Narrator's immersion: "It was just the idea of living in this fraudulent idea of happiness. Norton said of the Beetle, "We smash it We're rooting for ball teams, but we're not getting in there to play.
We're so concerned with failure and success—like these two things are all that's going to sum you up at the end. Isn't the point of fascism to say, 'This is the way we should be going'? But this movie couldn't be further from offering any kind of solution.
Before its publication, a Fox Searchlight Pictures book scout sent a galley proof of the novel to creative executive Kevin McCormick. The executive assigned a studio reader to review the proof as a candidate for a film adaptation, but the reader discouraged it.
McCormick then forwarded the proof to producers Lawrence Bender and Art Linson , who also rejected it. Producers Josh Donen and Ross Bell saw potential and expressed interest. They arranged unpaid screen readings with actors to determine the script's length, and an initial reading lasted six hours.
The producers cut out sections to reduce the running time, and they used the shorter script to record its dialogue. When a new screenwriter, Jim Uhls , lobbied Donen and Bell for the job, the producers chose him over Henry.
Bell contacted four directors to direct the film. Bryan Singer received the book but did not read it.
Danny Boyle met with Bell and read the book, but he pursued another film. David Fincher , who had read Fight Club and had tried to buy the rights himself, talked with Ziskin about directing the film. He hesitated to accept the assignment with 20th Century Fox at first because he had an unpleasant experience directing the film Alien 3 for the studio.
To repair his relationship with the studio, he met with Ziskin and studio head Bill Mechanic. Producer Art Linson, who joined the project late, met with Pitt regarding the same role. Linson was the senior producer of the two, so the studio sought to cast Pitt instead of Crowe.
Fincher instead considered Norton based on his performance in the film The People vs. Larry Flynt. Ripley and Man on the Moon.
He was cast in Runaway Jury , but the film did not reach production. He could not accept the offer immediately because he still owed Paramount Pictures a film; he had signed a contractual obligation with Paramount to appear in one of the studio's future films for a smaller salary.
Norton later satisfied the obligation with his role in the film The Italian Job. The pieces were restored after filming concluded.
When Fincher joined the film, he thought that the film should have a voice-over, believing that the film's humor came from the Narrator's voice. When Pitt was cast, he was concerned that his character, Tyler Durden, was too one-dimensional.
Fincher sought the advice of writer-director Cameron Crowe , who suggested giving the character more ambiguity.
Fincher also hired screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker for assistance. He invited Pitt and Norton to help revise the script, and the group drafted five revisions in the course of a year. Palahniuk recalled how the writers debated if film audiences would believe the plot twist from the novel.
Fincher supported including the twist, arguing, "If they accept everything up to this point, they'll accept the plot twist. If they're still in the theater, they'll stay with it. Fincher refused, so Milchan threatened Mechanic that New Regency would withdraw financing.
Mechanic sought to restore Milchan's support by sending him tapes of dailies from Fight Club. After seeing three weeks of filming, Milchan reinstated New Regency's financial backing.
She designed an extra's ear to have cartilage missing, inspired by the boxing match in which Mike Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield 's ear. Sets were also built in Century City.
The interior was given a decayed look to illustrate the deconstructed world of the characters.