When was the last time something melted your brain? Kubrick films, no matter how many times you watch them, always manage to warp your mind, but the real brain melters of Stanleyton are the Kubrick fans who have found evidence of a Stanley Kubrick shared universe. That’s right, people out there have posed some wild Kubrick theories. A lot of these theorists believe most, if not all, his films are related to each other. The basis for many of these theories come from self-referential Kubrick moments, though a few arose from painstaking hours of parsing the auteur’s films frame-by-frame to find the tiniest slivers of evidence of a Full Metal Clockwork Space Odyssey.
Whether you’re a cinephile who wants to see what the fuss is about or are intrigued by shared cinematic universe theories, these Kubrick film fan theories will turn you into a raving lunatic. Maybe. Probably. Seriously, they're kind of insane.
Regardless of whether or not these fan theories are true, it’s possible Kubrick was the last director working with a sizable budget who was able to control his productions to such a degree he could make visual and aural references to his previous work while creating an all-new subtext with which to view his films in such a complex way. Okay, maybe Tarantino. Certainly not JJ Abrams, who does seem to have a shared universe, but not in any meaningful way.
Kubrick's work eclipses that of any modern director. Even though passed away in 1999, after finishing Eyes Wide Shut, his body of work is why directors like poor Chris Nolan will never eat at the big boy table as long as they continues to try to court the mainstream, rather than forcing the sheeple to come to them. Keep reading for all the Stanley Kubrick fan theories you can handle, then go throw a tennis ball at a wall for a couple of hours.
There are a few theories about the relationship between 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange. The first is that they take place in the same quasi futuristic time period. Obviously, 2001 takes place in multiple time periods (and no time period at all), but one fan believes that, because of their equally strange-looking technology and decor, the films share some space-time overlap. It's entirely possible that, while Alex was having his mozg grazzied, Dr. Bowman was investigating the monolith. If this is true, it means Kubrick took the liberty of slotting Anthony Burgess's material (he wrote the novel A Clockwork Orange) into the timeline of his own work. You can read some interesting back-and-forth on this notion here.
The droogs in A Clockwork Orange are young street kids looking for kicks any way they can get them, especially if it involves rape, drugs, or a bit of the old ultraviolence. Kubrick may have intentionally drawn parallels between the droogie woogies to the Marines in 1987's Full Metal Jacket. Hell, he may have been showing two sides of the same coin. Two of the English droogs join the police force, if you recall, while the Americans join the military. All continue their action, trading frustrated-outsider violence into state sanctioned systemic violence.
It's just true: when you become famous enough, you're introduced to members of the Illuminati. It happened to Rihanna, and it definitely happened to Stanley Kubrick. He must have been introduced to the secret organization of elites some time around the release of Spartacus, because every film that followed served as a way to inform the rest of the world of the way they were being brainwashed through symbolism. If you look at the films this way, it's easy to see that his output from 1962 until his death was meant to be one long piece of symbolism underlining how audiences were being turned into cattle by secret overlords.
Hold the phone! Is Eyes Wide Shut an extension of the universe created in The Shining? When Wendy is told "All the best people" have stayed at the hotel, could that be a reference to the most elite members of society, who no doubt left psychic imprints on the Overlook, specifically in the Gold Room, with masked sex parties? This theory is being elevated from "maybe" to "probably."