Movie Reviews

Darkseid & Steppenwolf’s Complex Relationship Teased in Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’


The upcoming movie Zack Snyder’s Justice League is going to be a four-hour-plus affair. That’s a lot of time to spend on one story. Aside from featuring the main seven members of the Justice League, the film will also feature many villains, chief among them being Darkseid, Steppenwolf, Deathstroke, and Joker. During IGN Fan Fest, Snyder weighed in on how the four villains will fit into the larger narrative, starting with the “complicated” relationship between Darkseid and Steppenwolf.

“For sure the Steppenwolf Darkseid relationship is very complicated. I’m not going to give it away, but there is a dynamic between the two of them. Some things happened in the past. There is a bunch of issues between them and so yeah I think that all plays out. So yes, the answer is there is quite a complex relationship there.”

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In the comics, Darkseid is the god-king of the planet Apokolips. Steppenwolf, despite being his uncle, is subservient to Darkseid and invades other planets at his ruler’s behest. It seems this leader-follower dynamic will have a new twist added to it in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

The next major villain is the master assassin Deathstroke, played by Joe Manganiello, who at one point was set to be the main villain of the standalone Batman movie starring Ben Affleck. According to Snyder, the new live-action version of Deathstroke is more of a help than a hindrance to Batman, due to the larger issue of Darkseid’s invasion of Earth.

“Joe’s character in this movie when we find him, clearly he and Batman have struck some sort of a deal and they have a bit of a partnership. There’s a bigger enemy, I guess. I think that’s the big difference. They’re not locked in mortal combat. They’re actually working together to try to figure out how to make this world work.”

Finally, Jared Leto is returning in the role of the Clown Prince of Crime, possibly for the last time. Last year, Snyder had explained that he wanted to add Leto’s Joker into the mix in a prison scene to give fans of the DCEU at least one iconic scene between the Dark Knight and his greatest archenemy.

“The cool thing about the [prison] scene is that it’s Joker talking directly to Batman about Batman. It’s Joker analyzing Batman about who he is and what he is. That’s the thing I also felt like fans deserved from the DC Universe. That is to say, the Jared Leto Joker and the Ben Affleck Batman, they never really got together. It seemed uncool to me that we would make it all the way through this incarnation of Batman and Joker without seeing them come together.”

Zack Snyder’s Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Ray Porter as Darkseid, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. The film arrives on HBO Max on March 18.

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