Who Willem Dafoe Is Playing In Justice League

Willem Dafoe

When Sony was attempting to launch a Spider-Man series with Sam Raimi at the helm, the studio tapped two-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe to play the legendary Norman Osborn (and his costumed alter ego, the Green Goblin). Now DC and Warner Bros. have come calling, but they aren't leaning on Dafoe to play a comic book villain. Instead, we can now confirm that he'll be playing Vulko in Zack Snyder's Justice League movie, due in theaters next year.

Last week, CinemaBlend was invited to the set of Justice League with a small group of film journalists to get the scoop on Snyder's follow up to his DC Comics blockbuster, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. During a tour of the costume department, while we were learning about the aquatic body armor that would be worn by Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Mera (Amber Heard) and the Atlantean Guards, it was confirmed that Willem Dafoe's character would be that of Vulko. For those who do not know, Nuidis Vulko is a classic Aquaman character dating back to 1967 who was introduced in the pages of The Brave and the Bold. He was present at Aquaman's birth, according to lore, and has assumed various political roles of influence in Atlantis over the years. His most important has to be that of regent to Aquaman once the DC hero ascended to the throne of Atlantis, and it's likely this role that Willem Dafoe will play in the movie.

Here's what we were able to find out on the Justice League set visit. The Atlanteans will be in possession of one of three Motherboxes, powerful instruments that are being sought after by Steppenwolf and his flying Parademons. From what we know, Batman (Ben Affleck) and the newly-recruited members of the Justice League will be looking for the Motherboxes, as well, which will bring them to Atlantis, and into the presence of Aquaman. It's here that we expect to meet Dafoe.


What can I tell you about Vulko's look? He doesn't seem like an out-of-shape politician. He's dressed in navy blue and gold body armor, armed with weaponry and ready to fight alongside Aquaman if necessary. But based on the plot we'd heard, he likely will serve as Aquaman's advisor in this movie, and possibly play a much larger role in the solo Aquaman movie that James Wan will direct in 2018. So now we know who Dafoe is playing in Justice League, and it isn't a villain. At least, he isn't a villain... yet.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.