20 Things You Didn't Know About Fight Club

9. The Towers They Blow Up Were Based On Real Buildings

fight club
20th Century Fox

Of course, that final scene where they blow up all of the buildings isn't real: not just the explosions, but the skyline itself.

Norton and Bonham Carter are standing in front of a glass wall on a studio set, the view before them a computer generated composite of ten different Los Angeles buildings from downtown and the nearby business district of Century City.

In the classic framing shot with Jack and Marla holding hands, you can see the twin Century Plaza towers in the centre (the last two buildings to explode), with the St Regis Hotel to the right and the Fox Plaza tower to the left in the foreground, all of which are in totally different locations to each other in real life. The latter, by the way, also doubled as Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard.

And they’re all buildings owned at that time by the Fox conglomerate. It’s not just some Simpsonsesque middle finger to the parent company: the practical consideration was that threats of litigation might arise should they ‘blow up’ real buildings owned by third parties.

The shot itself took well over a year to put together, with the visual effects artists working frame by frame to create each shard of glass from the windows: 4 million separately animated elements in total.

Fincher remembers his progress report calls as the kind of thing that could have had him put on a watch list: “well, building number three is going to go down really easily.”


Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at desincarne.com, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.