Darkseid is coming to HBO Max’s Justice League Snyder Cut, as revealed by Zack Snyder himself.
While the idea that Darkseid (DC’s biggest big bad,) was originally slated to appear in Snyder’s Justice League has been known since the era of the film’s production, the director has provided definitive confirmation of the character’s Snyder Cut restoration with a teaser image of his heretofore missing version of the despot himself in all his destructive glory.
The seemingly savage-looking version of Darkseid (and what appears to be giant robot crab walkers,) depicted in the image provided by Snyder is the version that was originally designed to appear in Justice League, as voiced by actor Ray Porter (Argo, Justified). Of course, studio Warner Bros. did not like the direction Snyder was headed, and intervened. Thus, after a personal tragedy forced Snyder to cede the director’s chair to Joss Whedon, the end result saw Darkseid completely excised from the film. Indeed, Porter himself recently confirmed his previously-nixed voice performance as Darkseid, which had been resigned to the realm of rumor, with the actor having signed an NDA.
The apocalyptic backdrop of this first image of Snyder’s Darkseid certainly corroborates the known narrative of Snyder and Chris Terrio’s original Justice League script, which purportedly depicts a future in which Earth is invaded and overtaken by Darkseid and his army from Apokolips. However, Darkseid’s victory is apparently sealed after he kills Lois Lane and uses the Anti-Life equation to turn a grieving Superman evil. Thus, the act ultimately brings to fruition the (context-deprived) events depicted in the film’s immediate predecessor, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in which Batman had a vividly-prophetic dream—dubbed the “Knightmare”—of a ruined world in which Superman is worshiped as a god.
With that ostentatious exposition set to be restored, the Justice League Snyder Cut is set to show the titular team engaging in a bit of Speed Force-fueled timey-wimey, with Ben Affleck’s Batman and Ray Fisher’s Cyborg sending Ezra Miller’s The Flash back in time to change the course of the initial inter-dimensional invasion from Darkseid’s army. Thus, another would-be plot point from Batman v Superman—in which The Flash inexplicably appears to Batman, saying Lois Lane is “the key”—would be justified, proving to be a crucial strategy in the fight against Darkseid.
Feelings about the Snyder Cut notwithstanding, it will provide a cinematic debut that’s long overdue, seeing as Darkseid is DC’s definitive villain. A creation of Jack Kirby, Darkseid debuted (via cameo) in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134, dated November 1970, eventually becoming a bedrock villain in Kirby’s New Gods-connected Fourth World titles. Originally known as Uxas (a name likely to be thrown around in the Snyder Cut), Darkseid rules planet Apokolips with an iron fist after he ascended to its throne by way of treachery, and subsequently stole the power of the Omega Force, which turned him into a powerfully fearsome stone-like creature. Darkseid’s position as DC’s mainstream alpha antagonist was arguably solidified on 1984 animated series Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, which depicted him—joined by his Kirby-concocted cohorts—as the primary villain. Indeed, he’s remained a prominent malevolent maker of machinations in the DC Universe across all forms of media, save for film, ever since.
Consequently, besides its status as the focus of a successful fan-driven movement, the Justice League Snyder Cut is also getting a major nod as the platform on which Darkseid debuts in live-action, CGI-conjured form; a nod that adds a ring of truth to the reported additional budgetary expense of around $30 million on top of the $300 million Warner originally spent. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how it all turns out when the Snyder Cut (in a format to be determined,) eventually debuts on streaming platform HBO Max, which just launched today.