Conspiracy theories aren’t just confined to the areas of extra-terrestrials, political plots and shape-shifting lizards. Indeed, think of any Hollywood favorite and it’s likely to have been the subject of some wild speculation. Here are 20 film theories that got the internet in a frenzy.
20. Obi Wan Kenobi is not who he seems
As you’d expect, the Star Wars universe has inspired a wave of conspiracy theories. Indeed, according to some, the Obi Wan Kenobi of the original trilogy (Alec Guinness) is merely a robot clone of the Jedi general in the prequels (Ewan McGregor). Apparently, Kenobi was deliberately created to do battle in the Clone Wars, but later took on Ben’s identity after escaping to Tatooine.
19. The Pulp Fiction briefcase contains some mysterious contents
It’s one of the most puzzling questions posed by ’90s cinema. What was inside the briefcase that emitted a golden glow in Pulp Fiction? Well, many believe it contained the soul of Samuel L. Jackson’s Marcellus Wallace. Yes, according to some the character’s biblical talk and panic to retrieve it, as well as its 666 code, apparently confirms that the gangster traded his soul to Beelzebub for money.
18. Mary Poppins could time travel
It turns out that the recently-unveiled Jodie Whittaker isn’t actually the first female timelord. Indeed, some believe that none other than the quintessential nanny Mary Poppins beat her to the punch by over half a century. And the evidence? Well, her visits are brief, her fashion sense is similar to the good Doctor and she totes a bag that resembles a Tardis.
17. RoboCop is Christ
The theory that crime-fighting cyborg RoboCop is actually the Second Coming may seem far-fetched. But it’s actually one backed-up by the director of this 1987 cult classic. Yes, according to NME, Paul Verhoeven has said, “It is about a guy who gets crucified in the first 50 minutes. And then is resurrected in the next 50 minutes, and then is like the supercop of the world.”
16. Ferris Bueller is all in Cameron’s head
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of the ultimate teen movies of the ’80s. But some believe that none of the hero’s school-skipping antics actually happened. Instead, they claim, Matthew Broderick’s Ferris was actually an imaginary character who represented the confidence and carefreeness that his more square “best friend” Cameron sought.
15. “James Bond” isn’t a real name
The name’s Bond, James Bond. Although according to some, it actually isn’t. Some fans believe that James Bond is in fact just a codename given to the likes of Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Daniel Craig’s characters after they join MI6. And this would perhaps explain why over the years each Bond has possessed a different personality.
14. Labyrinth is really about those awkward teenage years
David Bowie’s wild-haired goblin king, Jim Henson’s brilliantly crafted puppets, that awe-inspiring crystal ball trick – Labyrinth may appear to be a magical fantasy on the surface. But as it also features a young girl struggling to navigate the various paths in life, many believe the “labyrinth” could, in fact, represent female puberty.
13. Drag Me to Hell is about an eating disorder
In Drag Me to Hell, an old photograph reveals Alison Lohman’s lead character weighed a lot more in her younger years. Then there’s the scene in which a corpse vomits in her throat. And the fact that she gets attacked whenever food appears on screen. This is just some of the evidence which has led many to believe that Sam Raimi’s horror is, in fact, about a young girl’s battle with bulimia.
12. Forrest Gump wasn’t a biological father
This particular film theory would be heartbreaking if true. Some believe that Forrest Gump’s troubled one true love Jenny only went running back to him after realizing she was pregnant with someone else’s baby. And of course, the ever-trusting Forrest doesn’t even consider the possibility that his son isn’t his. But he’s the kind of guy that would love him unconditionally regardless.
11. Harry Potter was a bad influence
The Dursley family were famously horrible to Harry Potter throughout his childhood. But some fans believe they weren’t actually responsible for their own behavior. The theory is that a baby Harry became a Horcrux following Voldemort’s failed attempt to kill him. And a Horcrux, of course, corrupts anyone they are close to – which would explain why the Dursleys were just the worst.
10. The Joker had a bad case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
So there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for The Joker’s psychotic behavior in The Dark Knight. Some fans believe Heath Ledger’s villain actually has PTSD, having served in the Iraq War. The character’s knowledge of military assault weapons and burial movements is supposed to serve as proof, as is his familiarity with interrogation tactics and his huge problem with authority.
9. Stan Lee is more than a cameo player
Stan Lee is renowned for popping up in the Marvel Universe films, but his cameos may be more significant than you’d think. Indeed, some fanboys believe the comic book legend is actually portraying Uatu the Watcher, a character who observes the universe without meddling. And this would explain why Lee is repeatedly seen blending into the background during various major events.
8. The aliens in Signs are demons
We’d never put it past M. Night Shyamalan to serve up yet another twist. And despite the whole premise of Signs centering on an alien invasion, some fans believe the film is actually about demons. The fact that the extra-terrestrials are thwarted by demons’ kryptonite, water, is taken as evidence. As is the crisis of faith that Mel Gibson’s priestly past and lack of otherworldly technology.
7. The Shining is Stanley Kubrick’s way of saying sorry
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining has been subject to so many different theories that a whole film dedicated to them, Room 237, was released in 2012. One of the most popular is that the director used the horror to apologize for “faking the moon landings” through various references. One of the most frequently cited is the inclusion of twins, which are apparently meant to signify NASA’s Gemini program.
6. Titanic’s Jack can time travel
Referencing landmarks that hadn’t even been built at the time. The anachronistic hairstyle and bag. The lack of any physical money from the time period. According to some fans of Titanic, this all proves that Jack was a time traveler whose task was to save Rose from both jumping off and then going down with the doomed ship.
5. Willy Wonka knew his little factory tourists would die
Apparently, Willy Wonka foresaw all the disastrous events that occurred during his chocolate factory tour without doing anything to prevent them. Indeed, the eccentric confectioner appears to have planned for several kids to meet their demise judging by the dwindling number of seats on offer during each stop. In fact, some cynics believe he even deliberately caused the accidents to recruit the children as factory workers.
4. Doc Brown wanted to die if his time travel test failed
Was Doc Brown really ready to meet his maker should his time travel test in Back to the Future have failed? Well, that’s the particularly dark theory that’s been bandied about by fans of the franchise. The madcap scientist was allegedly depressed by his previous disastrous experiments and so planned to get run over if his latest project went the same way.
3. The Ghostbusters were killed after touching streams
Here’s another morbid theory about an ’80s classic. Some fans believe that by crossing streams in the first movie, the Ghostbusters actually died. Consequently, the sequel was actually about the gang being stuck in purgatory, which is why no one in the city recognizes them or remembers the good deeds they have done.
2. A dying Sandy dreamed up the events of Grease
Did the all-singing, all-dancing antics in Grease really happen? Or was it just a figment of the imagination from a comatose Sandy? Some fans believe that Olivia Newton-John’s leading lady almost drowned at the beginning of the movie – an event alluded to in “Summer Nights” – and that everything else is all in her head.
1. Tom Hardy’s Mad Max is the feral kid from Mad Max 2
It turns out that Tom Hardy might not have been playing Mad Max in the recent reboot after all. Some fans argue that he was, in fact, playing a grown-up version of the Feral Kid seen in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Apparently, years spent living in the Aussie wilderness could explain his character’s array of growls and grunts.