A movie called ‘Shazaam’ starring American actor-comedian Sinbad has thrown open a curious debate. Those who claim to have seen the show say it was from the Disney’s stables in the ’90s. They know that it came before ‘Kazaam’, a movie with a similar sounding name starring Shaquille O’Neil.
The problem is that there is no such movie. In fact, Sinbad has been himself clarifying that he never played a genie in any movie or show.
Perhaps the search for ‘Shazaam’ got so intense that the actor himself dropped this information to clear the cloud:
@MsAymz1 not on film …only in real life
— Sinbad (@sinbadbad) September 7, 2016
Fact is that he has been saying he didn’t play any genie character on film since a long time now. Here is a tweet in which he makes a sarcastic comment on the issue:
@careuhhh I must hve played a genie. Everyone says I did. Smile
— Sinbad (@sinbadbad) September 20, 2009
But Redditors and others on social media are not in a mood to believe. Those who say they have seen Sinbad as a genie stand by their claim:
Here is a snapshot from the Reddit thread discussing the show:
And here a few tweets from a Twitter thread on the Sinbad genie movie:
SINBAD WAS DEFINITELY A GENIE IN A MOVIE CALLED SHAZAM THIS MANDELA EFFECT SHIT IS FUCKING MY REALITY UP
— JERK (@SIMPLE_MANE) December 24, 2016
I am certain that I remember a straight-to-VHS movie starring Sinbad as a genie, long before I read this strange… https://t.co/mFVIG69OkR
— mondojohnson (@mondojohnson) December 22, 2016
This confusion over Sinbad’s movie started with this Yahoo question posted some six years ago:
Such has been the belief of the people that the movie actually exists that one has also announced a reward of $1000 on Craigslist to anyone who can find a copy of the movie.
Writing for New Statesman, Amelia Tait interviewed some of those who think that there is a movie with the same name in which Sinbad played a genie.
“I remember the name of the film as Shazaam. I remember two children accidentally summoning a genie… and they try and wish for their dad to fall in love again after their mother’s passing, and Sinbad can’t [grant the wish],” Tait quotes one of them as saying.
“It feels like a part of my childhood has now been stolen from me. How does a movie simply vanish from our history?” is the question another asked Tait.
— Sinbad (@sinbadbad) October 3, 2016
One of them told Tait that he handled the “two copies” he owned “dozens of times over the years”. And he always checked it over and over again for damages.
She probed deeper and found out that in spite of Sinbad himself refuting the claims of the ‘genie’ community, they continue to believe in the existence of ‘Shazaam’.
The possibility that the people might be confusing ‘Kazaam’ with ‘Shazaam’, too, has been raised but the believers of ‘Shazaam’ doubt that they are confusing the two movies.
But why are the people acting this way? Some say it is because of a psychological phenomenon called “false memory” where multiple people start believing in something if it is being talked about a lot. Another is what some call ‘Mandela Effect’, which is like a happening in a parallel universe impacting the memories of people in this universe – like ‘Shazaam’ being a real movie in another world.
In fact, those who strongly believe in the Mandela Effect insist they saw Mandela’s funeral on TV in the 1980s and take a jibe at the New Statesman article.
Of course, there is no plausible answer. And since people won’t stop the search for ‘Shazaam’, Sinbad says:
Okay for all you people who think I did a genie movie.. well haven’t done one YET , but I am going to do one so we can close this chapter
— Sinbad (@sinbadbad) December 23, 2016