Part of the Justice League (opens in new tab) news that's dropped over the last day is the first story synopsis, that makes mention of a "newly-awakened threat" the superhero team will face. While plenty of rumors (opens in new tab) hinted at the possibility of Darkseid's second-in-command nabbing the main villain role, it's since been officially confirmed (opens in new tab) by producer Deborah Snyder that Steppenwolf will indeed be that threat. The reason behind the delayed announcement is down to casting; at the moment, producers are still trying to nail down the actor who will play him.
Steppenwolf was first teased in a Batman v Superman (opens in new tab) deleted scene (opens in new tab) featuring Lex Luthor that was released after the movie opened, something Zack Snyder refers to as his equivalent of a Marvel post-credits scene. Like most baddies, Steppenwolf's plans serve to motivate the good guys. In this case, he pushes Batman to form the Justice League and to harness powerful technology known as the Mother Boxes.
"You can’t really do that stuff [Mother Boxes] without some larger-than-life [influence]," says director Zack Snyder. "I think inherently when you start to talk about… a bad guy that would justify the Justice League... but I think you have to have a good threat that’s fun and kinda crazy. And the Mother Boxes are always fun DC weird tech, you know?”
Another villainous element teased in Batman v Superman during the Knightmare sequence are a horde of pesky things known as Parademons. Deborah Snyder says they'll also be back in a larger role to give Bruce Wayne more sleepless nights. “Obviously with the Mother Boxes and then the hints from the other movie, you know, we are dealing with Apokoliptian technology and villains and we have kind of some more visions, we’re always tweaking things and everything.”
While Batman and his assembled team will undoubtedly have their work cut out for them dealing with Steppenwolf and Parademons, it doesn't end there. Jesse Eisenberg confirms (opens in new tab) that his delirious and twisted Lex Luthor returns to throw more spanners in the works, with the actor set to join production in August.
Directed by Zack Snyder and starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, J.K. Simmons, Amber Heard, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher, Justice League is currently scheduled for a November 17, 2017 release.
Images: Warner Bros