While we certainly know that the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice follow-up Justice League revolves around the formation of the titular team, led by Ben Affleck’s Batman, there also needs to be a reason to form said team. That reason comes in the form of the film’s antagonist, which thus far has remained (officially) a mystery, although a deleted scene from Batman v Superman certainly set things up rather nicely for the comics baddie Steppenwolf and this alien technology called Mother Boxes.
So when Collider’s own Steve Weintraub visited the set of Justice League last week along with a group of reporters, the film’s antagonist was a hot topic of conversation. Director Zack Snyder and the film’s producers were fairly tight-lipped, but they did offer some tantalizing teases. First and foremost, yes, Steppenwolf is the bad guy, but producer Deborah Snyder noted that their contract negotiations with the actor have yet to close, so they were unable to reveal exactly who will be playing this Darkseid-aligned baddie.
The key technology that everyone is trying to get ahold of in Justice League is the Mother Boxes, three of which are of particular importance and were left in the hands of the Amazonians, the Atlanteans, and Mankind. Which lines up rather nicely with the formation of the Justice League of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Batman and The Flash (Ezra Miller), with Cyborg (Ray Fisher) having been birthed from the Mankind Mother Box.
During the set visit, Deborah Snyder revealed that there will be a prologue in the film that will attempt to get audiences acquainted with Mother Box technology, and Zack Snyder spoke a bit about Jack Kirby’s influence on some of the heavier sci-fi aspects of Justice League:
“You know, Kirby’s crazy in a great way, and there’s a lot of influence, you know, kind of the New Gods stuff, and we were digging on that — and that’s the Mother Boxes and that sort of Apokoliptian world and all that stuff. I mean, you can’t really do that stuff without some larger-than-life [influence]. But the kinda scope-y, sci-fi, what I think is fun stuff. I think inherently when you start to talk about… a bad guy that would justify the Justice League, not to make a thing, to “Double Justice,” 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?”
It was also revealed that the parademons glimpsed in Batman’s Knightmare are back and play a major antagonistic role in the film, with Deborah Snyder teasing potentially more of Batman’s visions:
“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.”
So yes, that deleted scene in which Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor communes with Steppenwolf appears to have been a major tease for the Justice League plot. So why was it cut out of the movie? It turns out Zack Snyder considered adding it as a post-credits tease but feared that would be too similar a move to Marvel Studios:
“You know, that scene I guess was our way of—I kind thought like, ‘Oh, that would be a cool after-credits sequence.’ But then I was like, ‘I don’t know, can I do that?’ Because Marvel kind of does that, so we were like, “Oh! Well, maybe there’s another way to do it, by just having it [online],’ does that make sense?”
How explicitly will this all tie into Darkseid? Those on set were tightlipped when it came to the D-word, but there’s clearly a connection.
For much more of our Justice League set visit coverage, peruse the links below:
- ‘Justice League’: Over 60 Things to Know About the ‘Batman v Superman’ Follow-Up
- ‘Justice League’ Set Visit Video Recap: Here’s What We Learned
- ‘Justice League’: Zack Snyder and Ben Affleck on Lighter Tone, Differences from ‘Batman v Superman’
- Ben Affleck Gives Update on His Solo ‘Batman’ Movie
- Official ‘Justice League’ Synopsis and Logo Revealed, Plus New Batmobile