For some, conspiracy theories are a fun thing to look into when you want to roll your eyes, have a few laughs, and occasionally marvel at someone's ability to connect dots that never existed in the first place. For others, conspiracy theories are more like a way of life. They’re the truth in a world seemingly designed to hide such a thing.
However you view conspiracy theories, it’s hard to deny that some of the most captivating conspiracies out there belong to the movie industry. Part of the reason why these (possibly imagined) plots are so enjoyable is because there are few people out there that are in a hurry to debunk them. And if a non-harmful theory exists about a particular movie, some of those involved with the film have no problem perpetuating that belief in order to increase the notoriety of their work.
There’s also something to be said for how shockingly plausible some of the most notable movie conspiracies are. Sure, logic and reason typically win the day, but there are many otherwise reasonable people who will let out an audible “hmmm” when faced with the most notable conspiracies out there.
Some are outlandish, some are totally possible, and some are just amusing. Here are 15 Shocking Movie Conspiracy Theories.
15 The Bigger Luke Hypothesis
If you ever want to venture down a rabbit hole of insanity, just search for the “Bigger Luke Hypothesis.”
The very basic version of this conspiracy states that there were two actors playing Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope. One was a “smaller” version of Luke Skywalker as played by Mark Hamill, and the other was a “bigger” version of the character.
This theory is supported by photos that claim to show that Luke’s height relative to Han Solo’s height is different throughout the film. Some have said that the line “Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?” is even a reference to this hidden technique.
Even among the conspiracists, though, there is debate regarding whether there were two actors playing Luke or whether or not this was an intentionally implemented filmmaking technique.
14 There’s a Secret Organization That Lets Celebrities Fake Their Own Deaths
This is a broad conspiracy that has been around for years, but it’s too notable not to mention.
There have been countless celebrities over the years who apparently faked their own death for one reason or another. According to this conspiracy, those faked deaths can all be attributed to a shadow organization that acts as a kind of witness protection service for celebrities who want to hang their fame up.
The most notable instance of this conspiracy involves the actor James Dean. While it was reported that Dean died in a car crash, some have speculated that there is no way he actually did as the “facts” from the crash report didn't really indicate that the crash in question could have taken Dean’s life.
While there are many people who have faked their own deaths, we’re going to chalk this one up to wishful thinking among fans.
13 Apple's sinister intentions behind The Emoji Movie
Now would be a good time to reinforce the fact that these are only conspiracy “theories.”
With that out of the way, some people believe that The Emoji Movie was secretly funded by Apple in order to advance the appeal of their facial recognition technology, and to make kids comfortable with submitting their likeness to the company's database. For those who don’t know, The Emoji Movie is the story of an Emoji who is capable of performing multiple expressions and thus doesn’t fit in with the rest of Emoji society. Shortly after the film’s release, Apple revealed that the iPhone X will allow you to create custom emojis capable of achieving multiple expressions through the use of facial recognition technology.
What makes this theory so interesting is that common Emojis are not technically trademarked by any one company, but Sony did reportedly win a bidding war for the rights to the film, and there are many Emoji Movie characters that resemble popular Apple Emojis.
12 The Church of Scientology Auditions Girlfriends For Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise is the most famous member of the controversial Church of Scientology, and his association with that organization has been the source of numerous urban legends over the years. The most persistent - and most intriguing - of those legends is the theory which states that the Church of Scientology holds auditions for Tom Cruise’s girlfriends.
The book "Going Clear" - which was adapted into an HBO documentary - claims that Scientology member Nazanin Boniadi was hired by the church to serve as Cruise’s girlfriend following his breakup with Nicole Kidman. Apparently, Boniadi underwent makeovers and surgery designed to make her resemble a girl of Cruise’s “type.”
It’s worth noting that these allegations can largely be traced back to a single source. However, given that the rest of "Going Clear" is widely believed to be accurate, this story has gained a lot of traction.
11 The Conqueror’s Nuclear Test Site Filming Location Gave Everyone Cancer
The 1956 movie The Conqueror is infamous for two things: John Wayne playing Genghis Khan, and for supposedly being the only bad film to ever literally give people cancer.
The Conqueror was filmed near a Nevada Security Site where nuclear tests were performed. Though the film’s creators were assured that the area was completely safe, 91 people involved in the production of the movie had contracted cancer by the end of the year 1980. Some researchers have stated that the sheer number of cancer cases in relation to the film’s circumstances make it hard to argue against any belief that the two are related.
However, others believe that the sheer number of people who worked on the movie in relation to the average cancer rate in America is the real culprit. Wayne himself, who was diagnosed with cancer 8 years after the film released, also admitted to smoking six packs of cigarettes a day around the time of filming.
10 George P. Cosmatos Didn't Direct Tombstone or Rambo: First Blood Part II
There are some movies which people claim weren’t actually directed by the director that received credit for them - most notably Poltergeist - but George P. Cosmatos is one of the few major directors regularly associated with this allegation.
This particular conspiracy gained traction when Val Kilmer and Kurt Russell claimed that the latter essentially directed Tombstone after original director Kevin Jarre left the project. Russell stated that credited director Cosmatos was there to take direction from Russell.
Following that reveal, Sylvester Stallone made a similar claim regarding Cosmatos’ role in the development of Rambo: First Blood Part II, saying that he served as a ghost director on that project.
Given that Cosmatos passed away in 2005, it’s highly doubtful we’ll ever know the truth about these allegations. However, we will say this is one of the more intriguing (and plausible) conspiracies out there.
9 A Munchkin Actor Hung Himself on the Set of The Wizard of Oz
A long-standing Hollywood legend claims that if you watch The Wizard of Oz closely, you’ll spot a strange visual that certainly resembles someone hanging themselves on-set. The rumor is that this person was a depressed munchkin actor who decided to end it all.
Even though this rumor is so popular that it’s almost become an adopted fact, there is a mountain of evidence which suggests that it's false. First off, why would the director leave this in if they knew someone killed themselves on set that day? Did he honestly not notice? Second, why has the name of this actor never once been released?
This rumor seems to be the result of an odd visual and claims that the munchkin actors were drunk and rambunctious on-set. In fact, Judy Garland's ex-husband recently claimed that the actress was repeatedly molested by those same actors on set.
8 Marisa Tomei Won Best Supporting Actress Because a Drunk Jack Palance Accidentally Said Her Name
Nearly everyone was shocked when Maria Tomei won the 1993 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. At the very least, her win is one of the great upsets in Academy Award history. According to some, though, her win should be attributed to a disoriented - and possibly inebriated - Jack Palance.
Supposedly, Palance either misread the teleprompter when he announced the winner or was very drunk that evening and decided to amuse himself by incorrectly naming Tomei as Best Supporting Actress. The crux of this story has long been the theory that the Academy was too embarrassed to admit to the mistake and just let it roll. Interestingly, that theory took a major hit at the most recent Academy Awards show, when representatives rushed to the stage to clarify that Moonlight, and not La La Land, had indeed won Best Picture that year.
7 Former Child Actors Claim that Hollywood is Run by a Secret Ring of Pedophiles
This is certainly the darkest entry on this list, as well as the one that may be too close to the truth for comfort.
Not long ago, Elijah Wood claimed during an interview that Hollywood’s worst kept secret is that a group of high-profile pedophiles operate behind the scenes of major productions involving some child actors. Wood later stated that his remarks were not based on personal experiences, but rather information he had gathered during his time in the industry.
However, former child actor Corey Feldman remarked shortly after the Wood interview that Wood’s claims were true, and that he would love to name names if he felt safe doing so. Feldman even said that some of those names are working in high-profile positions within the industry today.
6 Fargo is Actually Based on a True Story
It’s not uncommon for movies to claim they are based on a true story when they really aren’t, but the validity of Fargo’s true story claims is a particularly controversial topic. Even though it’s long been stated that the film's "Based on a true story” opening was done purely for stylistic reasons, a long-running conspiracy theory suggests that it's based on a true story and that the Coen Brothers hid that fact for mysterious reasons.
The Coens have stated in the past that the part of the story involving dealership registration numbers and the scene involving the woodchipper murder were based on real incidents. Otherwise, the story is - to their knowledge - not directly based on real people or events.
Legend also states that a Japanese woman traveled to North Dakota to uncover the money that Steve Buscemi’s character in the film buried. However, it’s also been said that she traveled there to commit suicide.
5 Galaxy Quest Was Supposed to Be an Official Star Trek Parody
What we know for a fact is that Harold Ramis was originally hired to direct Galaxy Quest. However, it’s been stated that he left the film over difficulties related to the casting process. Subsequent stories suggested that everyone from Alec Baldwin to Steve Martin was involved with that process.
The conspiracy is that Ramis and the studio tried to hire the original Star Trek cast to star in the film at first. This version of Galaxy Quest may or may not have used the Star Trek name, but would have served as a dark comedy about these actors' lives following the cancellation of the hit series.
For the record, none of the main members of the original Star Trek cast have ever officially had any ties to the Galaxy Quest movie. However, there’s no denying that the script certainly incorporates aspects of their real lives.
4 Pacific Rim Is Really A Live-Action Adaptation Of A Popular Anime
While fans of the Japanese anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion know that Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim shares some plot and structure similarities with Evangelion, some go so far as to say that Pacific Rim is essentially a rebranded adaptation of the anime series.
This conspiracy can trace its roots to a failed live-action adaptation of Neon Genesis Evangelion that was floating around Hollywood throughout the 2000s. Sometime after that project devolved into a series of legal battles, Pacific Rim debuted and served as a mysteriously close vision of what a live-action version of the beloved anime might look like.
Strangely, Del Toro has gone out of his way to state that he intentionally tried not to draw from outside materials when making Pacific Rim as to help ensure that his vision was original.
3 A Genie Movie Starring Sinbad Called Shazam Has Been Wiped From History
Several years ago, an internet forum user began asking why they couldn’t find any evidence that a genie movie named Shazam which stars actor Sinbad existed, despite the fact that they clearly remember the movie from their childhood.
Some called the user out for misremembering the movie. Others, however, insisted that they too remembered seeing this film and have also been unable to locate it. This is the origin of a conspiracy theory which suggests that Shazam has been wiped from history.
This theory seems to be based on a few factors, the most notable of which being the genie movie Kazaam starring Shaquille O'Neal. As for Sinbad’s association with that role, some claim that a Kazaam trailer aired on the VHS of the Sinbad movie, The First Kid. Others claim that’s Sinbad’s name makes people think of "One Thousand and One Nights", which then makes people think of genies.
2 Stanley Kubrick Directed the Moon Landing (And Hid the Evidence in The Shining)
In 2015, a website published a “lost interview” in which director Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) claimed that the moon landing was faked and that he directed the famous footage of that event. The validity of the interview was denied by almost everyone. However, the conspiracy theory itself remains as strong as ever.
The strength of this theory can be partially traced to the popularity of the belief that the moon landing was faked. It’s one of the oldest and most intriguing conspiracy theories in existence. Kubrick’s involvement, meanwhile, was actually rumored long before the “interview” was released. In fact, the film Room 237 made several allegations which all suggested that the movie The Shining doubled as an elaborate confession from Kubrick regarding his role in the moon landing's filming.
1 The Room Director Tommy Wiseau is Actually Famous Thief D.B. Cooper
Tommy Wiseau is the well-known director of the 2003 "worst movie of all-time" candidate, The Room. However, others claim that Wiseau should be famous for actually being D.B. Cooper.
For those who don’t know, D.B. Cooper is a man who held a plane hostage in 1971, took a $200,000 ransom, jumped from the plane with a parachute, and was never seen again.
So why do people think Wiseau is Cooper? Well, part of it has to do with the fact that Wiseau has always been very vague about his early life. It’s as if Wiseau just appeared one day and happened to have enough money to make movies. Those close to Wiseau have also said that he’s older than some people think.
This conspiracy also includes factors such as the strange speaking style of Cooper and Wiseau, as well as their fondness for dark suits and dark glasses.
We’re guessing this theory won’t be included in Jame’s Franco’s film about Wiseau, The Disaster Artist.
Do you know of any other wild theories running around Tinseltown? Let us know in the comments.