ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE Concept Art Reveals Alternate Design For Steppenwolf And New Look At Desaad
Some new concept art from Zack Snyder's Justice League spotlights a sinister alternate design for Steppenwolf as well as a closer look at Desaad. These are seriously cool, and you can check them out here.
Zack Snyder's Justice League is a very different movie to the one we watched in theaters nearly four years ago, and one of the biggest changes saw the introduction of a completely redesigned version of Ciaran Hinds' Steppenwolf.
He looks considerably better in the Snyder Cut, and a villain it was easy to believe could go toe-to-toe with the League. The cartoonish version from 2017 was a bit of a joke, but it turns out this redesigned Steppenwolf could have looked even more threatening when he faced the team on HBO Max.
"I really like these horn shapes, but definitely not as iconic as the ones in the final design," concept artist Jerad S. Marantz says. "The armor in this one is a bit darker and the face feels more sinister."
Marantz also shared some concept art which offers a better look at Desaad. The villain was a new addition to Zack Snyder's Justice League who didn't appear in Joss Whedon's theatrical cut.
"[Desaad is] so sinister and manipulative...It was an absolute pleasure working with costume designer Michael Wilkinson," the artist says below. "My first version of the character was much more deformed and terrifying. I remember doing one pass on him and he seemed to be approved. Several weeks later I came back to the character and they wanted something a bit less scary."
Click on the "Next" button below to check out a ranking of our
favourite new characters in Zack Snyder's Justice League!
We don't agree with much Joss Whedon did in his 2017 cut of Justice League, but leaving Willem Dafoe's Vulko on the cutting room floor may not have been the worst idea in the world.
Aside from nagging Arthur Curry about taking his rightful place in Atlantis by wielding his mother's trident, there's not a lot the character brings to the Snyder Cut. Well, beyond being someone who has clearly spent years trying to get Aquaman to do what he believes to be the right thing.
This Vulko just isn't overly likeable, and James Wan's take on him definitely resonated more with us. That was by no means a reinvention, though, and this version serves his purpose well.
A completely new character added to the Snyder Cut of Justice League, Desaad clearly takes great delight in serving as the right-hand of Darkseid. Throughout the course of this movie, we see him revel in belittling Steppenwolf, and we can't help but hate him as a result.
That's not to say Steppenwolf is a sympathetic character, but Desaad is a typical, hateful lacky...and that's why he doesn't rank any higher than this! However, we were definitely left wanting more.
Clearly, he was going to be at Darkseid's side when the invasion of Earth began, and that likely means he'd have crossed paths with the League. He doesn't seem to be much of a fighter, but something tells us Snyder definitely had plans to do something more with him in those sequels.
8. Iris West
It was recently confirmed that Kiersey Clemons will reprise the role of Iris West in The Flash, and that's something we're very pleased about. The actress only makes a cameo appearance in the Snyder Cut of Justice League, but she makes a big impact with only a small amount of screentime.
Yes, this is very much Barry Allen's sequence, but the chemistry between them is palpable.
If Snyder's plan was to get us invested in the potential relationship Barry and Iris would one day have, it worked. We obviously know nothing about what Clemons' take on the character was once going to look like, or how that will differ in Andy Muschietti's take on The Flash. However, we certainly hope the first meeting remains canon because it was a heck of a way to kick things off.
Yes, we're counting Mera as a completely different character. Why? Well, the English accent, for starters!
That gives the Atlantean a new, regal persona, and she's definitely a little more ready for a fight than the one we saw in the theatrical cut of Justice League. That first meeting does play out mostly the same, but this Mera clearly has an attraction to Arthur which is teased when she's later on land.
However, the Knightmare scene is really where Heard comes into her own as the hero. Carrying Jerry Cans of water, she now wields Arthur's trident and wants to kill Darksied for what he did to Aquaman. It's a cool take on Mera, but not one that's likely to influence what we end up seeing in Aquaman 2.
6. Ryan Choi
Ryan Choi is an effective supporting character in Zack Snyder's Justice League, and we simply cannot figure out why he was left on the cutting room floor back in 2017 (it's not as if Warner Bros. had other big plans for the character at the time). Of course, many of his scenes are with Dr. Silas Stone.
That's another character whose role was almost completely rewritten by Whedon, so it likely explains why Choi was no longer part of proceedings. Regardless, Kai Zheng does a great job here.
By the end of the movie, it's revealed that he's S.T.A.R. Labs' Director of Nanotechnology, so the stage was clearly being set for him to become The Atom in the Chinese-led spinoff Snyder has recently teased. It's a shame we'll never get to see that, especially as what we see here works so well.
5. Elinore Stone
Cyborg's mother was pretty much a non-factor in 2017's Justice League, something that robbed Victor Stone of much of his backstory (and lessened the significance of the accident he was in).
In the Snyder Cut, we see Elinore fighting to protect her son, and supporting him when he plays football. Silas, meanwhile, is too busy working, and the crash which killed her and gravely injures Victor happens on the way home from that game. It's a small yet meaningful role, and helps better explain why Cyborg feels the way he does towards his father before he sacrifices his life.
It also leads to a much stronger, more effective ending; rather than goofing around with his dad and showing off his new look, Victor moves past his anger and grief to become a superhero.
4. Martian Manhunter
Snyder has gone on record to say that he hoped to include the John Stewart version of Green Lantern in his cut of Justice League, but Warner Bros. said no, and that's why we have Martian Manhunter.
It's a shame in some ways that Stewart wasn't the one who showed up to talk to Bruce Wayne at the end of the movie, but we definitely enjoyed what we saw from this interpretation of J'onn J'onzz. He looks awesome, and Harry Lennix proved to be a fitting choice to bring the character to life here.
His role was a minimal one, that's for sure, but what we saw was a lot of fun. This is another character with a tonne of potential moving forward, and while it seems unlikely that will happen, we'd sure like it to.
When Joss Whedon took charge of Justice League, he completely scrapped Darkseid's role and made Steppenwolf a one-and-done villain. Yes, the big bad was mentioned, but only in a throwaway manner. There was no reason to suspect he'd ever actually show up, and the only sequel teases we got were those which laid the groundwork for the Injustice Society to assemble.
Well, Darkseid gets plenty of memorable moments in the Snyder Cut. As well as a terrifying glimpse into the future (where he kills Aquaman and Wonder Woman), the stage is set for his invasion of Earth.
We know that leads to Superman falling under the influence of the Anti-Life Equation, and we can only hope that's now explored in some format moving forward. Ray Porter did an awesome job with the villain, that's for sure, and while he may not be a big name, he proved himself worthy of playing Darkseid.
Thanks to Warner Bros., much of Jared Leto's Joker performance in Suicide Squad ended up on the cutting room floor. What we saw wasn't to everyone's liking, but it was hard to judge it fairly.
Well, the Oscar-winner is given a second chance in Zack Snyder's Justice League, and he makes the most of it. Despite being a post-apocalyptic version of the Clown Prince of Crime, this feels like a far more authentic take on the character. The meeting between Batman and Joker is awesome, and the way he taunts the Dark Knight over Robin's death is one of the DCEU's best moments.
While this scene probably didn't convert anyone who isn't sold on Leto's interpretation of the iconic villain, it's now hard not to hope the actor isn't given at least once more shot at playing him.
Let's face it, the Cyborg we saw in 2017 is most definitely not the same one in 2021. Almost all of the actor's scenes were reshot by Whedon, so the Snyder Cut delivers a vastly different interpretation.
This Victor Stone is grieving for his mother, and dealing with a whole lot of resentment towards his father. As the movie progresses, he manages to overcome that and embrace his new status quo as a superhero; that nicely sets the stage for where his story was supposed to go next under Snyder's watch.
Throw in a much more effective portrayal of Cyborg's powers, and everything we saw in the Snyder Cut of Justice League with this character was new, improved, and downright awesome. That's why he deserves the #1 spot, and while Ray Fisher is likely done with the hero, it will take an awful lot to top this.