#2. Titanic and The Great Gatsby (2013)
Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros.
Some of you will think I'm cheating with this entry, because Titanic and The Great Gatsby both take place in the "real world," but do they really? Gatsby is ultimately a subjective critique of the Jazz Age stemming from Fitzgerald's need to grind an ax against the culture of decadence of the 1920s. Consequently, the story and the characters in his book, and of course the movie, are little more than walking signs with "This is what's wrong with you, you bastards" written on them.
"Is THIS what you want to be? Handsome, rich, never wanting for anyth- ... I may
need to rethink this argument."
Conversely, Titanic is a disaster movie crossbred with a mushy romance and set in an alternative dimension with completely different laws of physics, where it's somehow impossible for two people to share a gigantic floating door.
"Sorry, I like to stretch my legs."
Why It Could Actually Work:
I'm going to be honest with you: It's mainly because Leonardo DiCaprio plays the main character in both movies, helping my theory that Jay Gatsby and Jack Dawson are really the same person.
The 2013 version of The Great Gatsby, set in 1922, stars DiCaprio as the titular Gatsby, a mysterious rich guy whose main hobbies include throwing fancy parties and pining away for a girl. Little more is known about the character, but it is suggested that his fortune might have come from bootlegging alcohol. Now, let's look at Jack Dawson.
In 1912, Jack was a poor artist who fell into a whirlwind romance with a girl far above his station, and then the icy black waters of death. But for the sake of argument, let's imagine what would have happened if he'd survived the sinking of the Titanic.
He'd definitely land somewhere around New York, which is also where the plot of Gatsby takes place. He'd still be penniless, since almost freezing to death paid surprisingly little in the early 20th century. From there, it'd be a simple road to bootlegging and catching the once-in-a-lifetime break that'd allow him to become Jay Gatsby.
"Hello, TMZ? I have something you'll want to see, but it'll cost you."
Ah, but then what about Kate Winslet's Rose, the love of Jack's life for whom he almost died in this hypothetical scenario? Well, there's your answer: Loving Rose almost got him killed. And arrested, and shot at. It's not exactly a stretch of the imagination that the experience would've made Jack stop and say, "You know what? Fuck that door-hogging bitch."
Finally, both movies deal with the nature of wealth and how it affects people, so in the end, Titanic and The Great Gatsby could be Parts I and II of a story about how money does not equal happiness. When asked for comment, James Cameron and Baz Luhrmann could not be reached, due to their literally drowning in supermodels and champagne paid for by the proceeds from their movies.
#1. Battlestar Galactica (2004) and Red Dwarf
Sci-Fi, BBC, Dave
Most of you are probably familiar with the 2004 reboot of Battlestar Galactica, a show about how advances in toaster technology will end up killing all humans. The plot of the series was pretty straightforward: It is the future (kind of), and humanity has been mostly wiped out by robots known as Cylons, leaving about 50,000 survivors to wander the cosmos in huge spaceships looking for a new planet to settle on.
It so happens that a sort of similar thing happens in the British comedy Red Dwarf, only with less robot sex along the way.
Hey, I said "less," not "no."
In Red Dwarf, spaceship technician Dave Lister gets put in suspended animation and wakes up 3 million years in the future, after everyone else on board his ship has died due to a radiation leak. Joined by the hologram of his former roommate, a humanoid cat, and later an android, Lister tries to get back to Earth while getting drunk on lager and generally bumming around in a creative, futuristic setting.
It was basically a live-action version of Futurama.
As you can see, the two series could not be more different. At its core, Red Dwarf is a lighthearted comedy, while Battlestar Galactica is "serious" sci-fi, exploring the nature of intelligence, sentience, and life. Any crossover between the two would thus be forced and nonsensical ... like the series finale of Battlestar Galactica.
Why It Could Actually Work:
A single piece of technology makes it possible for both shows to exist in the same universe.
First, we have to look at Battlestar's prequel series, Caprica, which dealt with life in the BSG universe before the Cylon attack. One of the main focuses of the show was the invention of a virtual avatar, which was like an algorithm of all your knowledge and thought processes that could create a digital copy of a person in a virtual setting. So while your mind and body could die, your "essence" could always be uploaded to the Caprica Internet, allowing you to stick your genitals into the Grim Reaper's face and tell him to go fuck himself.
Then you could do the same, if you were into that sort of thing.
The interesting part is that this technology also perfectly describes how holograms work in Red Dwarf.
In the show, Arnold J. Rimmer was brought back to life as a hologram with his memories, rat-faced personality, lack of charisma, and general cowardice recreated perfectly by the Red Dwarf computer. So if the two shows possess the same weirdly specific technology, who's to say they couldn't take place in the same universe, especially seeing as it would all fit perfectly with the cyclical nature of the BSG world?
A common saying in Battlestar Galactica is "All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again," and it was tied to the idea that the story of the series is doomed to repeat itself. Humans create artificial intelligence, get wiped out, revert back to the stone age, and round and round it goes until the end of time. So if that world's technological progress repeats itself, it could mean that Red Dwarf is just another spin of the Battlestar cycle where the resident A.I. simply hasn't gotten around to murdering all of the humans yet.
But when they do, it will be as horrifying as it will be hilarious.
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist and editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.