That headline is probably the most unlikely (and totally bonkers) series of words you’ll read this week. (Hopefully. It’s only Wednesday.) Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of The Game; to celebrate, we ran a great feature on what is perhaps David Fincher’s most underrated film. As it turns out, that film reportedly inspired Ben Affleck’s screenplay for The Batman, which Matt Reeves tossed out when he replaced Affleck as director of the Dark Knight’s upcoming solo adventure.

The Game with this intriguing comment:

Can you even imagine a Batman movie inspired by The Game?! Go ahead. Try. It’s wild. For those who haven’t seen Fincher’s film, it centers on a wealthy banker named Nicholas (Michael Douglas) who is invited to participate in the titular game: A mysterious real-life puzzle of sorts that becomes increasingly intense — and dangerous. As the stakes are raised, Nicholas finds it harder to differentiate between reality and the game, and quitting is not an option.

The screenplay for The Batman, which Affleck co-wrote with DC’s Geoff Johns, also featured the villain Deathstroke, set to be played by Joe Manganiello. But when War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves was brought in to take over, he scrapped Affleck’s script in favor of developing his own story. Recent reports suggest that Affleck is no longer starring in The Batman, and that he’s actually exiting the DCEU after Justice League.

While Reeves’ involvement is likely for the best, morbid curiosity has me fascinated by the concept of a Batman movie inspired by The Game, of all things. It sounds kind of awful but also kind of amazing?

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