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WMG / Birdman

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     1967 Hanna-Barbera cartoon 
{currently empty}

     2014 movie 
This movie is meant to be an adaptation of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon...
  • ... in the same way that Adaptation. is meant to be an adaptation of The Orchid Thief.

Riggan kills himself at the end.
  • He's already proven that he is a fine actor and that he can surprise people with his stunt in the play, but the thought of having to pull off something like that (shooting himself in the face) every night did not sit right with him, so he jumped out the window and got his freedom. The reason Sam looks up and laughs is that she realizes what he did and it hits her.
  • This is all assuming that the whole movie isn't a Dying Dream of his.

Riggan's powers were real; everyone else's Weirdness Censor is just in full effect.
  • One of the major themes to the film is the jaded and disillusioned ways people look at the world. As Sam stated in her "Reason You Suck" Speech, Riggan is just another man who will grow old and die, like everyone else. The Broadway scene has grown increasingly cynical and appears to set up Riggan to fail, in spite of his extraordinary gifts. But Riggan refuses to give into the disillusion of that reality, and lives in intentional ignorance, hence the subtitle. The same way that the world says a man cannot fly, the world says Riggan is a washed up actor, and wishes to maintain this reality so badly it pretends Riggan is just a man when he isn't. Sam smiles at the end of the film because she sees that her father really could fly, both literally and figuratively.
    • Seems likely. After all, Riggan's underwear scene and the pistol scene are both clearly statements on Riggan's part to defy the expectations of everyone else, regardless of how unintentional the former was. The fact that he avoided the negative review is just further proof of this theme.

The hospital scene takes place in heaven.
  • After letting the madness take full control of him, Riggan shoots himself in the head and dies. He goes to heaven, where he gets everything he's ever wanted, including popularity, his daughter's love, and the ability to fly.

The in-universe movies are meant to be Darker and Edgier adaptations of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon
  • Confirmed. In the original script of the film, one of Riggan's early meltdowns is interrupted by an old TV set playing the cartoon, the implication there being that he is the very same Birdman.

The movie takes place in the same universe as Looper.
Riggan is the adult Cid, retaining his psychic powers and having grown up to not become the mass murdering Rainmaker but instead a Hollywood actor.

Riggan wasn't lying about having an abusive father
  • He talks about being abused and then claims he was lying. But actually the abuse really happened. He realized that the conversation had gotten uncomfortably personal, so he pretended that none of it was true.

Mike Shiner also has powers
  • Mike Shiner is able to figure out the lines to the play without reading t and mentions that my he has a thing, that helps him before he makes a flimsy excuse about reading Carver .

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