According to reports, DC’s upcoming Justice League: Part One might feature a somewhat unknown villain, contrary to rumors that the film would feature one of Superman most famous villains: Darkseid.
Birth Movie Death is reporting that the Justice League villain will be little-known DC Comics villain, Steppenwolf. No, not the 70’s rock band, but a character known to DC Comics fans as the uncle of the villainous Darkseid. Steppenwolf was rumored to be the villain featured in the upcoming Justice League: Part One after Warner Bros. released a cryptic deleted scene from Batman v. Superman featuring a horned alien who shared some – very few – similarities with the character design of the DC Comics version of Steppenwolf.
But according to Birth Movie Death, Steppenwolf will be featured in the upcoming Justice League film – though official confirmation from DC or Warner Bros. has not yet been released. The outlet has previously been a reliable source of early information on other DC properties, but as IO9 reports, Steppenwolf’s role in the film could still just be a rumor.
— Comics Alliance (@comicsalliance) May 11, 2016
Nevertheless, some fans are speculating that Steppenwolf might be a great choice for the Justice League villain, since he would provide a nearly blank slate for filmmakers to work with, and he would provide an introduction to the world shared by DC Comics mainstay Darkseid – who is almost as sure to make an appearance in the DC Comics films, as Thanos is to make an appearance in upcoming Marvel films.
According to Collider, Darkseid may be featured in Justice League, but will likely not play the role of the film’s primary antagonist, a mantle saved for Steppenwolf – who might appear in a form very different from his DC Comics counterpart if the Batman V. Superman deleted scene is any indication.
In the latest DC Comics continuity, Steppenwolf – who appears as a human with a giant axe – decides to invade earth. Steppenwolf’s invasion leads to a confrontation with the comics version of the Justice League, and given the other material that the latest DC films have borrowed from the New 52 continuity, it seems likely that Steppenwolf could share a similar motivation in Justice League: Part One.
— Comic Book Resources (@CBR) May 11, 2016
After the critical failure of Batman v. Superman, some fans are skeptical that director Zack Snyder can pull off a great Justice League film, even if the film makes use of a relatively unknown villain in order to introduce Darkseid. IO9 went so far as to suggest that director Zack Snyder will have to do some “cleaning up” of the mess he made in Batman v. Superman, and pull off a truly fantastic Justice League film in order to win over fans who were disappointed with Batman v. Superman.
So far there’s precious little we know about the upcoming DC films, Warner Bros. seems to be diverging from the Marvel Cinematic Universe media strategy, by keeping more of their properties under wraps, and playing close to the vest. It comes as little surprise though, given the tough critical and financial reception of Batman v. Superman, and the financial gamble of the upcoming DC films like Justice League, The Flash, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman, none of which have been seen on the big screen before.
According to Birth Movie Death, Darkseid will play a significant role in the DC film universe, but he won’t likely be the primary villain in any DC film until Justice League: Part Two, while the first Justice League film will serve as a vehicle for Steppenwolf and an introduction to Darkseid’s militaristic world Apokolips.
“Darkseid is a presence in the movie, and fully appears at the end of the film, but don’t expect him to do much,” said Devin Faraci, writing for Birth Movie Death.
[Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Bai Superteas]