Recently, Zack Snyder unveiled a closer look at the villain Steppenwolf of his upcoming movie Zack Snyder's Justice League. Audiences have already seen one version of the character in 2017's Justice League. But while the previous Steppenwolf merely looked like a bigger-than-normal human wearing armor, Snyder's take on the character is much more alien, with spiky armor, and a buff build. According to the filmmaker, Warner Bros. initially wanted him to tone down Steppenwolf's look so as not to scare the audience.
"There were discussions and a lot of back and forth about the new design and the creation of this new design. I think the initial thought was that he was a little too scary and a little too alien and a little too intense. I personally thought he was awesome and that he represented a real threat, and does represent a real threat, not just to the Justice League, but to the entire planet. I think he looks amazing and that the team has done a great job."
The response to Steppenwolf's new design has been mixed, with some fans appreciating the character's more alien look, while others pointed out that the numerous spikes look like overkill. Of course, as Snyder points out, since Steppenwolf needs to pose a credible threat not just to one hero, but a host of them, his appearance needs to actually signal that threat physically.
While Steppenwolf will be the villain that the League tangles with for most of the film, he is actually a mere lieutenant to the real bad guy, the dreaded ruler of the planet Apokolips, Lord Darkseid. Previously, Snyder had explained that Darkseid's purpose in invading Earth is to dig "the earth up because he felt like the Anti-Life equation was here, and then he had to pound the earth to reveal the Anti-Life equation, which we, in the movie, you see it in a physical form, which is all those patterns of lava that exist on the ground."
In the comics, the Anti-life equation is a weapon that can be used to control every sentient creature on the planet. It is in the pursuit of this weapon that Steppenwolf is sent to Earth to colonize the planet. From the 2017 cut of Justice League, we already know he fails in his mission. When Steppenwolf is defeated by the Justice League, it falls to Darkseid to personally invade Earth and take on the League, although Snyder has hinted that the last part of the story might need a whole new movie to tell.
Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. Zack Snyder's Justice League will premiere exclusively on HBO Max in 2021.