Getting nostalgic for childhood movies is nothing new on the internet. However, in the case of "Shazaam," it's a little more curious – mainly because "Shazaam" doesn't actually exist.
In a fascinating story by Amelia Tait of The New Statesman, large chunks of people across the internet are absolutely convinced that they remember seeing a film called "Shazaam," starring comedian Sinbad as a bumbling genie who grants wishes to two kids. It sounds like a movie that might've gotten the greenlight back in the '90s – and in fact, it did, except it was called "Kazaam," featuring Shaquille O'Neal as the bumbling (and, in this film's case, rapping) genie who grants a sad child some wishes.
But hoards on Reddit insist that "Shazaam" also exists, like "Antz" to "A Bug's Life" or "Deep Impact" to "Armageddon" – despite the fact that there's no evidence of the movie. No poster. No trailer. No clips. No IMDB page. Sinbad himself has even taken to Twitter to say that, nope, he never did a genie movie.
Have you noticed no one my age has seen this so called Sinbad Genie movie, only you people who were kids in the 90's. The young mind !— Sinbad (@sinbadbad) September 7, 2016
It's an absolutely bizarre case, and Tait's story is fascinating, going into the origins of the rumored movie, the creation of false memories and a crazy theory emerging from The Great Berenstain/Berenstein Bears Debate called the Mandela Effect involving parallel dimensions (seriously).
In short: It's bonkers – and a late entrant for one of the most interesting things you'll read all year.
My theory on the whole ordeal? I think people's memories of a bunch of weirdly bland kids movies from that decade are smashing into one groupthink-created fantasy movie. There's obviously a lot of "Kazaam" in "Shazaam," from the basic plot setup to details like the kids wanting the genie to make their estranged parents fall in love again. But then your brain mixes in Sinbad, who starred in several…Read more...