Zack Snyder explains how his Justice League cut explores Steppenwolf and Darkseid’s complex relationship. Previously, Snyder exited Justice League before it ended production owing to clashes with Warner Bros. and a devastating family tragedy. After his departure, Joss Whedon took over and made a swathe of changes to Snyder’s original vision and dark, intense storytelling. Whedon also trimmed out a lot of footage for the theatrical version, causing the movie to bomb at the box office and get drubbed critically. After the movie’s failure, fans launched a lengthy campaign calling for Snyder’s version of Justice League’s release. And their outcry finally came to fruition when HBO Max announced that it would release the “Snyder Cut” on March 18, 2021.
Expectedly, the Snyder Cut will boast several changes from the largely-panned Justice League. As the theatrical movie streamlined the plot to be snappier, it cut out several established DC villains that Snyder had intended to depict in his film. In the retooled movie, Steppenwolf was featured as the sole villain, much to fans’ dismay. But in Snyder’s version, there are five more villains, including Jared Leto’s Joker, Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke, Jesse Eisenberg’s Superman arch-nemesis Lex Luthor, the master of torture Desaad, and the mighty big-bad Darkseid himself. The addition of Darkseid in Zack Snyder’s Justice League has raised some questions about how the power dynamics between him and Steppenwolf will play out. However, Snyder has assured fans that their arc will be satisfyingly fleshed out and their relationship will be fully explored.
In his interview with IGN Fan Fest, Snyder responded to a fan’s question asking about Steppenwolf and Darkseid’s relationship. Although Snyder held back from giving away any spoilers pertaining to their arc, he confirmed that the equation between the villains was definitely intricate. Snyder also alluded to their complex past before finally revealing that their tangled history will play out in his director’s cut.
“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.”
As loyal enthusiasts may recall, Steppenwolf does share a tricky relationship with Darkseid. His herald and the leader of his army of Parademons, Steppenwolf, is actually Darkseid’s uncle. Darkseid killed his own father and assumed leadership over Apokolips, leaving Steppenwolf with no option but to fall in line and accept his rule. Although Steppenwolf himself is quite strong, especially when he is equipped with his fierce electro-ax, he doesn’t possess the powers of Omega energy that make his nephew all the more formidable. At the end of the 2017 film, Steppenwolf was sucked into the Boom Tube following his defeat against the Justice League. His whereabouts are since unknown. And with Justice League omitting Darkseid from the movie, it’s unclear how Apokolips’ Ruler reacted to Steppenwolf’s disappearance.
Now, however, Zack Snyder’s Justice League will remedy Darkseid’s absence while also incorporating the Knightmare timeline into its 4-hour run. This means that viewers will get to see how the alpha villain reacts to his uncle’s loss at the hands of the superheroes and if he considers bringing him back after his humiliating defeat. Additionally, Zack Snyder’s Justice League will also feature a flashback timeline when Darkseid used to be the young Uxas, which will explain if Steppenwolf harbored resentment against Darkseid after he took over Apokolips. That said, with the release of the director’s cut only a few days away, viewers won’t have to wait too long before they know the full story about the connection between DCEU’s two biggest villains.