It’s the stuff of science fiction really. As strange as it might seem, I recall watching a movie with 90s comedian Sinbad in a film called Shazaam. And I’m not the only one. Hundreds of people from around the world are claiming to have seen this film. However, in a weird twist of fate, it seems that film never existed.
It’s eleven at night and just before we’re about to sleep I turn over to my wife and ask her if she ever saw a film called Shazaam. Her immediate reaction was “yes, that old film with that genie… with that comedian… What’s his name? Sinbad.” That was exactly what I remembered too. Except, after doing some Googling, the film doesn’t exist. There is no Shazaam and Sinbad never ever acted as a genie. Check his IMDB. Check Youtube. Check with Sinbad, real name David Adkins, himself. He never acted in a movie called Shazaam. There is no footage. There are no records of it. There are no articles or movie reviews. Nothing.
So how is it that people all around the world are vaguely remembering a film that never existed? It appears to be yet another example of the “Mandela Effect”.
What is the Mandela Effect?
The “Mandela Effect” is an informal term for a collective false memory. The term was coined by a woman who discovered that she and hundreds of other people believed, and remembered, that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela had died in prison in the 1980s. Mandela actually died in 2013, after serving as South Africa’s first black president and winning the Nobel Peace Prize (along with another former president, Frederik Willem de Klerk, who ended the system of segregation known in South Africa as apartheid during his time in power) in 1993 — all of which, of course, would have been impossible if he had already been dead a decade.
So why Shazaam?
There are several possible reasons why people may have mistakenly recalled Sinbad starring in a genie movie:
– The name Sinbad recalls memories of the comedian and a fictional sailor who’s adventures involved genies.
– People might be confusing the actor for Shaquille O’Neal who played a genie in the movie Kazaam
– The actor hosted an afternoon of Sinbad movies on TNT.
— Sinbad (@sinbadbad) October 3, 2016
There are many who believe that the film exists and that the actor had the film erased from history. Some have even gone as far as to say that the missing film is a result of time travel and a distortion in our current timeline.
In a 2014 Q&A Interviewly.com session, Sinbad addressed the conspiracy.
Q: SINBAD, THERE IS A LARGE RUMOR/CONSPIRACY GOING AROUND THAT YOU PLAYED A GENIE IN A MOVIE IN THE 90’S SIMILAR TO SHAQ IN KAZAAM. CAN YOU CONFIRM OR DENY THE EXISTENCE OF THIS SUPPOSED FILM? THANKS FOR THE AMA!
A (Sinbad): It was SHAQ SHAQ SHAQ. But we all look alike.
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
Over the years there have been many people claiming that there is a conspiracy at play. Furthermore, some Redditors have offered a reward to anyone who has proof that the film exists. As of today, there is no concrete evidence that Shazaam ever existed.
Here I am trying to go to bed at a decent time only to find out that Sinbad never played a Genie in a movie! Even though I know Ive seen it!
— Chase Burgess (@LeadBurgess) December 16, 2016