I am interested in the theories made up by movie fans

Credit: Amélie Philibert - Benoît Gougeon

In 5 seconds

For his doctorate, Simon Laperrière explores the phenomenon of “fan theories” about major feature movies.

The American director Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) actually filmed the first moonwalk in a studio. There is no single James Bond with the codename 007; “James Bond” is actually the codename given to each new 007 agent. Steven Spielberg's E.T the Extra-Terrestrial is actually a Jedi Knight from George Lucas’s Star Wars series.

These are just a few of the innumerable fan theories (or, if you prefer, conspiracy theories) that have been concocted around blockbuster films. And they are the subject of my doctoral thesis.

My goal is not to give these theories credibility, but to better understand the phenomenon. What drives people to make up stories based on pure fiction? I hope to put these narratives in both a historical and institutional context and so help lay the groundwork for an open history of cinema studies. After my doctorate, I plan to pursue an academic career. 

Simon Laperrière

To find out more

Thesis supervisor


  • Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture


  • Falardeau, É., et S. Laperrière. Bleu nuit: histoire d'une cinéphilie nocturne (Montréal, Éditions Somme toute, 2014), 344 pp.

In the media

Interview by Mathieu-Robert Sauvé

Media contact