Top 5: Film fan theories so crazy they just might be true

Film fans are capable of incredible levels of speculation around their favourite films, creating some great theories
Film fans are capable of incredible levels of speculation around their favourite films, creating some great theories
Source: Antonio Ruiz García

One of the fantastic things about the internet is the level of discussion that it can cause around a film. Ideas that had never even been considered before can very quickly become the subject of lively discussion and debate.

Some of the ideas make a lot of sense, and some are just unbelievably bizarre. Here are five of the craziest and most well-developed theories about famous films. Some have the ring of truth to them, but some have no chance at all.

The Sands of Time

Still from the 1992 Disney film Aladdin
Is Disney’s Aladdin actually set in the distant future?

The Film: Aladdin (1992)

The Theory: The whole movie is actually set in the future, when only Arabic culture remains. All of the things, like the flying carpet, that seem magical are actually just advanced technology.

True? Well, it does have a reasonable basis. There’s a moment in Aladdin when the Genie says that Aladdin’s clothes are “so 3rd century”. Given that he has been in the lamp for 10,000 years, the only way he could know of that time is if it was at least the year 10,300 AD.

It also explains how the Genie is able to make all of his pop culture references. These events would have to have already happened, right?

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The World According to Tarantino

Still from Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds, starring Brad Pitt
Did Inglourious Basterds launch Tarantino’s alternate future?

The Film: Works of Quentin Tarantino (1992-present)

The Theory: In Tarantino’s alternate reality, the brutal murder of Hitler in a cinema at the end of Inglourious Basterds lends greater significance to movies and desensitises people to extreme violence.

True? Almost certainly. Running themes in the films of Quentin Tarantino are prominent throughout all of his releases. It’s perfectly conceivable that he has constructed his own Tarantinoverse in which to set his hyper-violent epics. This one definitely has the ring of truth to it.

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First Stan on the Moon?

Still from The Shining, showing Danny's space shuttle jumper
Is The Shining Stanley Kubrick’s confession that he faked the moon landings?

The Film: The Shining (1980)

The Theory: Impressed by 2001: A Space Odyssey, NASA hired Stanley Kubrick to fake the footage of America landing on the Moon. Years later, The Shining is his confession.

True? No way. The Americans did land on the Moon in 1969. It doesn’t matter that Danny is wearing an Apollo 11 jumper and all of the other contrivances are equally coincidental. It’s not true. And, in fact, there are a load of theories about The Shining that are far more interesting.

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Ferris Durden’s Fight Club

Still from 1986 John Hughes comedy Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Is Ferris Bueller an 80s predecessor of Fight Club‘s Tyler Durden?

The Film: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

The Theory: Much like in Fight Club, Ferris is merely a figment of Cameron’s imagination. Everything that ‘Ferris’ does is imagined by Cameron when he takes the day off and steals his father’s car.

True? Of all the theories on this list, this is arguably the coolest. It puts an entirely different spin on a classic coming of age comedy. A bit of online digging shows that some people have put a lot of thought into fleshing out this theory and it does seem to hold some water. It certainly makes a rewatch of the film a completely different experience.

But did John Hughes mean it? Probably not.

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Pixarmageddon

Still from the finale of Pixar's post-apocalyptic animation Wall-E
Is the apocalypse in Wall-E the centrepiece of a shared Pixar universe?

The Film: Pixar‘s filmography (1995-present)

The Theory: Every single Pixar film exists in the same universe, set over a colossal time period.

True? This is the most in-depth theory on the list. Jon Negroni has compiled a lengthy rationale around this central idea, taking in animal intelligence and a machine apocalypse. It’s fairly unlikely that this was part of some sort of grand plan for Pixar, but it’s a huge undertaking if true.

It’s a really fun dissection of a great series of animated movies, but it may well fall apart when the studio’s next few films appear.

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Do you think any of these theories are likely to be true? Are there any other insane fan theories that deserve a place on this list?

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