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  • When new movies come into the world, they no longer belong to the studiosthey belong

  • to all of us. And that means we can speculate about all kinds of hidden messages and unsaid

  • meanings lurking behind the events on-screen. Here are some of the most unusual and mind-blowing

  • fan theories that have ever been discussed online. After hearing them, you probably won't

  • be able to see these movies in the same way again....because you'll be wearing a tinfoil

  • hat.

  • Heath Ledger's Joker is a war veteran

  • Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight is difficult to forget,

  • having earned him a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. But there might be more

  • to his backstory than we realize: one of the most popular fan theories suggests the Joker

  • is an Iraq War veteran.

  • It explains his facial scarring and his tortured psyche, plus his ability to put tactical plans

  • into operation and his familiarity with explosives and firearms. What's more, he mentions his

  • disgust at people's lack of attention for "a truckload of soldiers" getting blown up

  • in one conversation with Harvey Dent. Is the Joker a victim of PTSD? Or just an evil genius

  • with a clown fetish? Let's just say both and move on.

  • Hogwarts is all in Harry Potter's head

  • Saying a movie (or in this case a series of eight movies) is all inside someone's head

  • is a bit of a cop-out. And you could apply that theory to just about every film ever

  • madebut stick with us, here. The Harry Potter films lend themselves to this theory

  • more than most, because the titular character starts off alone, friendless, oppressedand

  • locked inside a cupboard under the stairs.

  • With that in mind, why wouldn't he want to invent a magical alternate reality where he's

  • actually the most important person in the world? Hogwarts, Hermione, Dumbledore: is

  • everything a figment of Harry's imagination, designed to help him cope with his suffering

  • at the hands of the Dursleys? That would certainly explain why no one at Hogwarts called Child

  • Protective Services on the Durselys. Y'know, since they made him live in a closet.

  • James Bond is a codename, not a person

  • Quite how the world of James Bond works isn't particularly clear, because it seems as though

  • we're expected to assume all these adventures are happening to the same guy, even as the

  • years pass by around him. George Lazenby's famous quip beyond the fourth wall ("This

  • never happened to the other fella") has been the only nod the filmmakers have made to the

  • fact that James Bond keeps regenerating Doctor Who-style.

  • What about this: what if James Bond isn't an actual spy at all, but rather a codename

  • passed down from agent to agent? It seems to work for M and Q, so why wouldn't it work

  • for James Bond himself? It's a compelling argument when you start to think about it.

  • Learning to like the same kind of martini must be covered during orientation.

  • Childs is The Thing

  • At the end of John Carpenter's 1982 classic The Thing, McReady - played by Kurt Russell - and Childs

  • - played by Keith David - sit opposite each other in the snow, waiting for death, with neither of them

  • knowing whether the other is, in fact, the shape-shifting alien they've been hunting

  • all along.

  • Or maybe they do know: one fan theory (of many) suggests that the drink McReady offers

  • to Childs is actually one of the Molotov cocktails used earlier in the movie. Since Childs doesn't

  • react to chugging down the gasoline, this proves he's The Thingand it adds an even

  • bleaker perspective onto the end of what is already a pretty dark movie.

  • Doc Brown is suicidal

  • In Back to the Future, we see Dr. Emmett Brown standing in the path of a speeding DeLorean,

  • his life only saved by the fact it jumps back in time as he watches. Could it be that the

  • Doc's primary goal was to get himself killed, and that's why he's been so focused in his

  • experiments?

  • Sure, there are easier ways to check out and shuffle off the mortal coil, but it actually

  • gives the film a warmer glow in the end: Doc, a man who was previously an aging outsider

  • descending into madness with no family and few friends, discovers there is a reason to

  • live after all. And that reason is potentially destroying the universe by driving a DeLorean-shaped

  • hole in the space-time continuum.

  • Pixar's shared universe

  • On the surface, the Pixar movies might not seem to have much in common beyond a studio

  • logo and cutting-edge CGI. But if you stop to think about itreally, really think about

  • itthe idea that every single one of these characters inhabits the same universe starts

  • to make a lot of sense. It's all summed up in "The Pixar Theory," a widely read essay

  • posted by Jon Negroni, that arranges every Pixar movie in chronological order and argues

  • for the existence of a time loop created by Boo in Monsters Inc. — who's also the witch

  • in Brave. It probably sounds kind of crazy out of context, but once you dive down this

  • rabbit hole, there's no going back. Next thing you know, someone will tell you that the dinosaurs

  • in Jurassic Park aren't really dinosaurs. Oh, wait.

  • Jurassic Park's dinosaurs aren't real

  • Okay, the Jurassic Park dinosaurs are cool, but they differ from real-life dinos in a

  • number of ways, some of which have been explained away by the Park's overlord, John Hammond,

  • who said he arranged to have the extinct creatures' DNA spliced with genetic material from frogs.

  • But what if Hammond was performing a different kind of experimentspecifically, what if

  • there wasn't ever any dinosaur DNA involved, and the whole thing was just a cover for a

  • Dr. Moreau - style lab set-up to create elaborate fakes? Same blockbuster thrills, but with

  • an added sinister undertoneespecially when you consider that the crazy old freak invited

  • his grandchildren to his island of genetic horrors. Sending a card with cash in it is

  • always a good gift option, Grampa.

  • Alien and Firefly take place in the same universe

  • Joss Whedon didn't have the greatest time writing Alien: Resurrection, and the end product

  • definitely doesn't rank among the best-loved entries in the series. But he wasn't totally

  • ready to wash his hands of the franchise after the project ended, as proven by a cool blink-and-you'll-miss-it

  • moment in the pilot episode of his space Western, Firefly. During the show, main character Malcolm

  • "Mal" Reynolds shoots down an enemy ship, and in the gun's viewfinder, you can glimpse

  • the logo of the Weyland-Yutani companythe same conglomerate that causes so many problems

  • in the Alien movies. Firefly took place years after the events in the Alien trilogy were

  • set, so it would have been relatively easy (in

  • theory) for Whedon to keep tying them together over timeif only Firefly had lasted more

  • than 14 episodes and one movie.

  • E.T. is a Jedi

  • In E.T., there's a cool little nod to Star Wars during the trick-or-treating scene, when

  • our long-necked alien buddy bumps into a kid dressed as Yoda and seems to recognize him.

  • Decades later, E.T. got his own brief shout-out during the Star Wars prequels, when the little

  • guy (and a few of his cousins) make a cameo during one of those interminable Galactic

  • Senate meetings. The Star Wars saga takes place long, long ago in a galaxy far, far

  • away, so who's to say E.T. didn't really know Yodaand was actually a Jedi using the Force

  • to make Elliott's bike fly? On the other hand, most Jedi don't typically run around naked,

  • so...maybe not.

  • The Rock is a secret James Bond movie

  • As countless spy movies have shown us, it isn't uncommon for the government to cut its

  • assets loose when they've outlived their usefulness. That fate seems to befall James Mason, Sean

  • Connery's character in The Rock. He's described as a highly trained ex-intelligence officer

  • who ended up being locked away and officially ceasing to exist. Of course, since he's played

  • by Connery, James Mason looks and sounds a lot like James Bond. Casting coincidence,

  • or brilliant bit of B-movie storytelling? And, does that make Nicolas Cage Ms. Moneypenny,

  • or what?

  • Now, before we go, here's a bonus: two fan theories that actually turned out to be true.

  • Quentin Tarantino's cinematic universes

  • Quentin Tarantino's movies are so richly detailed, and have such a distinctive style, that they

  • can feel like a world unto themselves. And according to one impressively complex theory,

  • that's exactly what they are. The ways in which Tarantino's films intertwine with one

  • another are far too numerous to get into here, but suffice it to say there are lots of connections

  • between the characters. Dedicated fans couldn't help but notice and formulate a theory that

  • all the connections are more than sly nods and Easter eggs. Best of all: Tarantino himself

  • has confirmed that they're right.

  • According to Tarantino, he actually views his creations as inhabiting two universesone

  • in the "real world," and a fictional one inside it. As he's put it, when the characters in

  • Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction go to the movies, they're watching Kill Bill and From

  • Dusk Till Dawn. So does that mean that Django could've ended up as one of the Hateful Eight

  • if he'd stumbled into the right haberdashery?

  • Of course, that’s not the only director who confirmed a fan theory. This next one

  • proves that if you just have a little faith, you'll be rewarded...

  • RoboCop is Jesus

  • A righteous man is cut down by evildoers in the prime of his life, only to rise again

  • and embark on a mission to cleanse the world of sin. Sounds like our old pal Jesus, right?

  • Only it's alsoif you turn your head and squint a littlethe story of RoboCop. Diehard

  • fans have pointed out a number of similarities between the '80s action classic and the New

  • Testament, including a shot that actually makes it look a little like RoboCop is walking

  • on water. According to director Paul Verhoeven, the correlations are no accident

  • Now that you know, the only appropriate way to celebrate

  • Easter Sunday is with a customary viewing of RoboCop over ham, chocolate eggs, and jars

  • of strained carrots. Peace be with you!

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  • just saw. And leave us a comment to tell us what crazy fan theories you think should've

  • made the list...

When new movies come into the world, they no longer belong to the studiosthey belong

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12 Film Theories That Change Everything

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