Back in May, we learned that the villain of Justice League would be Steppenwolf, who was glimpsed in a deleted scene from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The character, who is the uncle of Darkseid (the DC Universe’s equivalent of Thanos) in the comics, decided to invade in Earth in the New 52 series. He’s an extraterrestrial threat who would certainly warrant the formation of a team of superheroes. However, we’ve been in the dark on who’s playing the role. Even after Warner Bros. invited a bunch of a journalists to the set, director Zack Snyder wouldn’t reveal who was playing the film’s baddie.
But it now looks like we have an answer. According to The Wrap, talented actor Ciaran Hinds will be playing Steppenwolf with a mo-capped performance. Additionally, The Wrap reports that Steppenwolf will look different than he did in the Batman v Superman deleted scene.
In Justice League, Steppenwolf will be after three mother boxes, the DCEU’s equivalent of Infinity Stones that give the wielder immense power.
On the one hand, I’m glad that Hinds got the part. He’s an excellent actor whose profile has slowly risen over the years. While most people will probably know him as Mance Rayder in Game of Thrones, he’s turned in a slew of great performances over the course of his career with memorable turns in Munich, Road to Perdition, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and There Will Be Blood just to name a few.
The downside is that most villains in superhero movies are garbage. These movies pick up talented actors for their villain roles, and then they get wasted in nothing parts. Michael Shannon is better than Zod. Jesse Eisenberg is better than Lex Luthor. Mads Mikkelsen is better than Kaecilius. James Spader is better than Ultron. More often than not, studios are relying on talented actors to elevate poorly-drawn characters into serviceable antagonists rather than giving them a meaty role that’s worthy of their time and effort. Maybe Steppenwolf will break the trend, but right now he seems like a stepping-stone to Darkseid, so I don’t know how much effort Snyder is really going to invest in the character.
Justice League opens November 17, 2017. For more on the film, click on the links below.