When there’s a movie as big as Batman v Superman on the way, all sorts of wild and wonderful rumors make their way onto the web. Who’s in it? Who are the villains? Are there other superhero cameos? Then there’s the absolute crazy ones, like this: What if Ben Affleck’s Batman... wasn’t really Batman at all?

Yup. That’s currently the thrust of a bizarre rumor/fan theory/insane rant swirling around the internet, courtesy of Total Spoilers. Sadly you can’t copy text from the site, so you’ll have to head on over to read the outlandish, multiple-thousands of words “thesis” that claims to reveal Batman v Superman’s ultimate twist, but here’s the general gist of it:

Ben Affleck isn’t playing Bruce Wayne. He’s playing Slade Wilson—the comic book character Deathstroke—in disguise as Batman. What else? Christian Bale’s Batman is still Batman, connecting the Man of Steel universe to Christopher Nolan’s wildly popular Dark Knight trilogy. Just let that sink in for a second before you rightfully respond with “Wait, WHAT!?”

The theory—which seems to mainly be born out of a somehow still-existent fear that oh no, Ben Affleck is playing Batman—is “backed up” by the fact that Deathstroke has masqueraded as the Dark Knight before, most notably in the 2005 “Wanted” storyline in Outsiders, and the suit that Slade wore during that storyline is vaguely similar to the suit Batfleck wears in Batman v Superman. Here’s a picture of that suit, by the way, which is admittedly similar—in the way that it’s also a goddamn Batman costume. The already shaky evidence gets shakier when the thesis draws the conclusion that Batman’s cry of “Do you bleed?” in the first trailer is similar to Deathstroke’s own catchphrase “I will make you bleed” in the fighting video game Injustice: Gods Among Us, and the fact that Deathstroke has had his own butler in the comics (just like Alfred!).

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It gets somehow even worse/better! Total Spoilers goes on to connect the film to Christopher Nolan universe by making the claim that Jared Leto’s Joker isn’t the Joker either, but actually a fallen, traumatized Robin—specifically, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake from The Dark Knight Rises, who revealed his name was Robin at the end of the movie.

This ties into connections fans have already made between the bullet-ridden Robin suit shown in Batman v Superman’s Comic-Con trailer and similar wounds on Leto!Joker’s tattooed body, but with the added twist of attempting to integrate Batman v Superman into a post-Nolan continuity. So somehow, Batman v Superman would be set after The Dark Knight Rises but with Blake as Robin working with Deathstroke as Batman? And at some point, Blake becomes the next Joker? Oh god, my head hurts.

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A final kicker? The film is allegedly called Batman v Superman rather than Batman vs. Superman because the “V” is actually the Roman numeral for 5, indicating that this is the fifth movie in the Nolanverse continuity, counting Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Man of Steel as direct predecessors.

If you’re somehow still reading this and your brain hasn’t willingly ejected out of the back of your own skull, congratulations. Because this rumor—which, I mean, it goes without saying that it’s basically never going to happen, because it is insane—has to be one of the most outlandish things we’ve heard about Batman v Superman. Or hell, any movie. Having tried to process all of that madness, I think I’m going to go and lie down for a bit.

[Via The Huffington Post]