Remember when we all pretty much assumed that the Justice League villain would be Darkseid, one of the most powerful beings in the DC universe and a guy who was heavily teased throughout Batman vs. Superman? Ahh, those were the days. As Justice League continues filming in London, a new report suggests that Mr. Darkseid is not the film’s villain as we all assumed. Instead, it’s something even more exciting!

Just kidding, it’s Steppenwolf.

And not the Steppenwolf from the comics (who by the way, looks like this), but according to Birth.Movies.Death, the Steppenwolf from that weird-ass Batman vs. Superman deleted scene that you see above. As we noted at the time, Steppenwolf is a member of Darkseid’s Elite Forces and head of the Apokoliptic military (which would explain the Parademons and Omega symbol in Batman vs. Superman), but Steppenwolf is a human (albeit an immortal one). This guy above is definitely not a human, he’s a monster cut from the same CG cloth as Doomsday.

As BMD notes, the plot of Justice League will likely hew close to the New 52 storyline where Steppenwolf invades Earth with an army of Parademons. See this synopsis of Earth 2 #1 for a glimpse of what to expect in the Justice League movie:

Five years ago, they appeared in the sky: booming holes in space, spewing an army of monsters known as Parademons, and led by the villain Steppenwolf. Entire countries were destroyed, but Earth’s defenders fought back. Chief among them were Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

In a last-ditch plan, Batman planned to infiltrate the towers that controlled the Parademons by uploading a virus that would cripple the towers one by one, and halt the creatures’ destruction. Superman and Wonder Woman vowed to give him whatever help he needed, even if that meant laying down their lives.

BMD reports that Darkseid will make a brief appearance in Justice League, Part 1, perhaps setting up a larger role in the second film.

It’s certainly an unconventional choice, especially given that most fans were excited about the potential of Darkseid’s arrival, and putting that off for another movie (assuming it even happens at all) for Steppenwolf (or at least Zack Snyder’s version of Steppenwolf) could alienate the film’s audience. Or, it’s a bold move meant to subvert expectations. Whatever it is, Warner Bros. has almost no room for error with this movie, so they better hope whatever decision they’ve made is the right one.

Justice League, Part One opens in theaters on November 17, 2017.

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