Fight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It was directed by David Fincher and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton plays the unnamed narrator, who is discontented with his white-collar job. He forms a "fight club" with soap salesman Tyler Durden (Pitt), and becomes embroiled in a relationship with him and a destitute woman, Marla Singer (Bonham Carter).
Palahniuk's novel was optioned by Fox Searchlight Pictures producer Laura Ziskin, who hired Jim Uhls to write the film adaptation. Fincher was selected because of his enthusiasm for the story. He developed the script with Uhls and sought screenwriting advice from the cast and others in the film industry. He and the cast compared the film to Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and The Graduate (1967), with a theme of conflict between Generation X and the value system of advertising. Fincher used the homoerotic overtones of Palahniuk's novel to make audiences uncomfortable and keep them from anticipating the twist ending.
Studio executives did not like the film and restructured Fincher's marketing campaign to try to reduce anticipated losses. Fight Club failed to meet the studio's expectations at the box office and received polarized reviews, becoming one of the most controversial and talked-about films of the year. Critics praised the acting, directing, and themes, but debated the violence and moral ambiguity. Over time, however, critical and public reception towards the film has become largely positive, and the film found success with its DVD release, which established Fight Club as a cult film. It is now regarded by many as one of the greatest films of the 1990s.