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Movies like Zack Snyder's Justice League need a reason to bring the most powerful members of a comic book universe together, a mission or a goal that prompts these individual heroes to join forces for the common good. The Avengers, for example, have joined forces to take down Loki and Ultron, while Thanos is lingering on the galactic horizon. And now, we're able to confirm that the reason Batman (Ben Affleck) recruits Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) is to defeat Steppenwolf and his flying Parademons.
Steppenwolf dates back to the 1970s, introduced to DC Comics by the great Jack Kirby. He's a member of the New Gods, and as it pertains to the DC Cinematic Universe, he's the uncle of Darkseid, and the leader of the Apokolips military. From what we were able to learn on set, Steppenwolf and his Parademons will be in pursuit of three Motherboxes. These seeds will be sewn by Snyder in the DCEU, as was hinted in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice when Bruce Wayne had his Knightmare vision (seen below).
We actually saw a hint at the existence of Steppenwolf in a deleted Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice scene that Warner Bros. officially released days after the movie reached theaters. If you recall, it showed Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor in the Kryptonian ship that he blackmailed his way onto. He was bathing in a mysteriously dark liquid, and we saw a miniaturized version of a demonic figure that some, at the time, mistook for Darkseid but who actually is meant to represent Steppenwolf.
Part of the reason why his design is not hard and fast is because co-producer Deb Snyder said it's something that they continue to work on and refine, to this day. They obviously have time, as we were on set for day 31 of a planned 113 days of production. On the wall of Justice League concept art that we were shown, Steppenwolf was a silhouette with no concrete details. He appeared tall, with horns coming off of his head, and claws for fingers on his hands. Sadly, we don't know much more because, as of now, the villain hasn't been cast yet. Deb Snyder tells us:
But she wasn't able to confirm.
From what we could tell, though, we saw advanced designs on the Parademons, which were first introduced during Batman's Knightmare sequence in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The two types of beasts that we saw in the concept art were predominantly green, or predominantly yellow. They each had two sets of wings, and goggled eyes. And based on what we were able to witness them film, the Parademons will create havoc in Gotham and Metropolis, abducting scientists and making things very difficult for Batman and the new Justice League members. Could they eventually open the door to Uncle Darkseid's arrival on screen? Time will tell.