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Sinbad’s ’Shazaam’: Inside the Internet’s Conspiracy Theory About a Non-Existent Movie

The imaginary film stars Sinbad as a genie who grants wishes to two children.




Comedian David Adkins, better known by his stage name Sinbad, has starred in many films in the 90s, including “Necessary Roughness,” “Houseguest” and even the Kenan & Kel vehicle “Good Burger.” But one movie he didn’t star in is “Shazaam,” about an incompetent genie who grants wishes to two children. However, that hasn’t stopped hundreds of people online from claiming that the film is real, believing that they saw it sometime in the 90s.

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The New Statesman reports that the community of “Shazaam” truthers has proliferated on Reddit, specifically under the subreddit r/MandelaEffect. The Mandela Effect is a “theory that a large group of people with the same false memory used to live in a parallel universe,” deriving from the idea that many people believe Nelson Mandela died while in prison. On this subreddit, many share detailed memories of “Shazaam” and claim that the film has disappeared from existence.

However, what does exist is a 1996 film entitled “Kazaam,” starring basketball played Shaquille O’Neal as a genie who helps a young boy find his father, but those who believe in the existence of “Shazaam” just claim this to be a twin film, like “A Bug’s Life” and “Antz.”

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Sinbad himself has denied the existence of this film in multiple tweets. He cites a “Sinbad the Sailor” movie marathon he hosted dressed as a genie as a possible explanation for the phenomenon.

Read the full New Statesman report for a more comprehensive examination of the conspiracy theory.

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I’m pretty certain this movie existed. I too worked in a video store about 5 years after the film supposedly came out. I watched countless 90s b movies in my preteen years, and saw even more old stuff because our video store was behind by like a year. Maybe Phil Hartman was the dad. The part about the aunt dying and leaving a trunk with the genies lamp in it- if its not the sinbad movie, what is that from? Sadly I am starting to believe in the worldline theory where it was an alternate reality absorbed into this dimension, but I’m sure plenty of crap movies have been lost to history in plenty of ordinary ways pre internet.


    The movie definitely existed. I named a NEOPET after the movie, his name is shabammiez!

Thomas Mcdaniel

It Exist I have a copy

Genie Ali

If I could upload a pic I would show you the VHS box with the movie Shazam starring Sindbad. Not his fault he doesn’t remember. Mandela Effect – Thanks CERN

Kevin R

Review: ‘Shazaam’ (no, not Captain Marvel)


I’m freakin’ out, Man! I remember Sinbad’s Shazaam yet David Adkins deny ever starring in it! Furthermore, I also remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison yet Mandela ends up being released from prison and becomes President of South Africa! WTF!


Fresh Prince of Bel Air directly references the movie s03e22, and it came out a few years before family / Disney aired his show where he played the guardian to his niece and nephew. It is the only movie I have ever seen him in, and I remember I saw Kazam after and freaked out that they were so similar but I HATED Shaq. Yet loved him. I’m starting to believe the copy right / shame rumor I heard personally. IE it does not exist because it had to be stricken from the record.


It gets worse. I remember him playing his own sinbad and the seven seas movie. Apparently that didn’t happen either?


I just heard a girl talking about this on tv & I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! This movie Shazam WITH Sinbad playing a genie with a bad attitude definitely existed! I too worked in a big video rental store in the mid 90s & I know there was a VHS on the shelf with Sinbad playing a genie. Not Kazam with Shaq not Sinbad hosting some pirate thing it was Shazam with Sinbad & some white kids. I remember clearly that movie is what made me loose any respect for Sinbad

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