Time and time again, people who garner a modicum of fame have found out that their lives are suddenly open to all sorts of speculation. From the urban legend about Richard Gere's butt hamster to the temporally challenged theory that Beyonce (33 years of age) is actually the mother of her kid sister, Solange (28), pretty much every celebrity at some point winds up as the centerpiece of some lunatic's pet theory. It's just part of the game.
Most famous folks brush these urban legends and conspiracy theories off or, if absolutely necessary, begrudgingly address them for a tenth of a second to debunk them as crazy. As good of an approach as this tactic of ignoring clear maniacs may be, as a comedy writer I've always been bugged by it. Insane individuals are bombarding these people with the kind of stories no sane screenwriter would ever come up with, and everyone's just ignoring it all. Think of the skull-fuckingly awesome movies we might wind up with if Hollywood grew a pair and adapted some of the weirdest legends out there.
For instance, have you heard the one where ...
#4. "J.K. Rowling Does Not Exist"
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Everyone loves a good rags-to-riches story, and it's hard to find one that seems to fit the mold better than that of J.K. Rowling. She emerged from the same ratty corner table at the coffee shop where most aspiring authors spend countless hours staring at the screen and consuming overpriced lattes, rapidly ascending through the publisher's priority lists until, seemingly overnight, she decame the kind of all-encompassing media presence that is almost unheard of. It's the ultimate dream of any writer, a life almost too good to be true.
According to one particularly inspired conspiracy theory, this must, of course, mean that it isn't. In fact, the theory goes that Rowling doesn't exist at all -- she's merely an actress, a paid front for a host of shadowy writers who are actually responsible for all things Harry Potter.
Here's the one who forgot that the Time Turner exists.
Of course, this is almost certainly a heaping load of crock. The theory is more or less posited by just one crazy and/or attention-seeking person, and it doesn't seem to have too many proponents. However, combine it with all the other creepy-ass theories about Master Potter and his magical universe, and a web of strange, bugfuck-insane imagery starts to form itself. There is no shortage of pothead Potter theories out there; some say Rowling is in fact a "squib" (a Potterverse muggle that is nevertheless aware of magical happenings) and merely documents the true struggles of the magical world in a "the decades-long battle between the Order of the Phoenix and Voldemort caused all tumultuous events from Vietnam and Korean War" kind of way. Others make various tin-foil wrapped claims that Rowling's (or should we say "Rowling's"?) books contain more secrets and arcane information than the goddamn Necronomicon.
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"How can Harry Potter be fake when quidditch is real? Take that, people who call me insane!"
Put all those ingredients in a pot, stir, and watch as the ingredients slowly stew into the most awesome conspiracy thriller ever made: actress Joanna Protagonist gets a Trevor Slattery-style gig portraying a larger-than-life character for the masses in exchange for a life of luxury. However, soon she starts getting suspicious about the strange events surrounding her. As she starts to investigate, she stumbles her way behind the smoke and mirrors of the Potter Empire, only to find that not only are the books "she" wrote produced by a whole host of goblin-like ghost writers but the events they describe are actually real.
And that's when the Dementors arrive.
#3. "Tom Cruise Holds Babymaker Auditions"
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Did Tom Cruise hold auditions for the role of his future wife? This I do not know. To be honest, I don't even care. Tons and tons and tons and tons of news outlets certainly seem to think so, which seems to lend credibility to the theory unless you've paid attention to Cracked's investigations, which reveal that a massive chunk of such unbelievable news stories are complete and utter horseshit. The healthy amount of suspicion I have about this thing is not exactly removed by the fact that Cruise allegedly auditioned Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba, yet gave the role to Katie Holmes.
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"All right, ladies, the role goes to the one that best avoids looking him directly in the eye and keeps him away from Oprah."
Then again, who am I to comment on Cruise's habits and tastes? The man buys into a religion thought up by a sci-fi writer and the monetary value of his single fart is my entire financial worth, likely many times over. Chances are, he is so far removed from normal thought processes, he might as well live on a completely different planet.
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"Cease asking questions, human journalists, or I shall blast you with my Thetan meltray."
Of course, Holmes eventually divorced her diminutive couch-enthusiast of a husband. Why was this? Was it just your average Hollywood relationship implosion? Were the Scientology antics finally too much? Did she find out what Cruise really does to look that young, only to recoil in primal horror and run away forever and ever?
For the purposes of the movie pitch I'm just making up, let's say it was none of those things. Instead, she was pulled away because her mission was over. In this scenario, Holmes is really an undercover detective whose mission is to infiltrate the Church of Scientology to find out what's really going on behind the closed doors (spoiler: shenanigans). Her bosses have no idea on how to get in, but the crafty Katie -- who is a tough but fair cop, just like one of the guys -- finds out about the auditions. Barely dodging the Travolta audition, because ewwwwww, she manages to worm her way into the Cruise one, and goes Miss FBI on that shit. Add in plenty of creepy interactions with famous people, and a neat plot twist in the end. There are lots of ways this could go: maybe Cruise would be a villain, maybe he was undercover too. Maybe the whole Church of Scientology is really another Harry Potter thing, attempting to mask its battles with Voldemort with all that creepy Thetan level stuff and other practices that ensure no one unsuitable would willingly come knocking on their gates. Really, all bets are off. Feel free to grab the idea, Hollywood; this one's on me.
You're probably going to have to change a shitload of names, though.