In the latest of a string of reports relating to Warner Bros’ upcoming Justice League movie, Latino Review has broken a story claiming that Darkseid, a major villain in the DC Universe, will serve as antagonist in the superhero team-up movie.
If the story proves true, it certainly isn’t hard to believe, as Darkseid – a powerful interstellar threat who has antagonized Superman, the Justice League, and other DC heroes for over 40 years in comics – is in many ways the DC equivalent of Marvel’s Thanos, the villain teased at the end of The Avengers. And since Warner is pushing Justice League on the production fast-track to capitalize on Avengers-mania, Darkseid seems like a pretty obvious choice of foe.
The story certainly makes more immediate sense than Hitfix’s report that Joseph-Gordon Levitt will reprise his role as John Blake and the new Batman in Justice League, which took a moment or two to adjust to. Retconning the Christopher Nolan universe into a more fantastical Justice League landscape seems like a pretty major betrayal of Nolan’s films, and an awkward creative concept in any case. But I don’t distrust Drew McWeeny’s scoop on the matter – as with Latino Review’s news on Darkseid, I am sure the sourcing is perfectly sound and reasonable – and I don’t see what else Warner can do at this point other than treat the Nolan material as set-up for Justice League. They don’t have time to reboot Batman again before 2015, and if Warner wishes to copy the success of The Avengers, they will need to capitalize on existing franchises.
That, of course, puts all eyes on Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel, arriving in theatres next summer, which brings us back to Darkseid. I suspect Henry Cavill’s Superman will be the lynchpin of Warner’s entire gamble, as Man of Steel will be the studio’s first comic-book property to hit screens as a building block for Justice League, and if that’s the case, it makes sense for the villain to have a direct connection to Superman, with whom Darkseid is most often related. It also seems clear that the villain must be on par with the team’s most powerful member – just as The Avengers had Loki, a demigod who could threaten his brother Thor – so we were never going to see a Batman or Wonder Woman foe in the Justice League film.
Still, the prospect of Darkseid raises plenty of questions, mostly relating to tone and style. What does Warner want this Justice League movie to look like? The Avengers worked because Marvel had a plan in place before Iron Man entered principal photography, and while each subsequent film had its own voice and perspective, they all clearly existed within the same tonal parameters. But if Warner really does want to bring the Dark Knight films into this with Gordon-Levitt, there is no possible way to realistically mesh the down-to-earth Nolan-verse with a reality where Darkseid invades our planet. That simply cannot come across as natural.
And knowing that Man of Steel has been developed largely independent of Justice League plans as a standalone movie, can we be guaranteed that what Snyder has in store will be workable with a team-up picture? And what is Warner to do about all the other heroes needed? Are we assuming the Green Lantern movie is just being swept under the rug?
Even as more pieces of the puzzle are revealed, the entire scenario becomes increasingly confusing. For now, we know very, very little for sure, and for each answer these early reports give, dozens more questions crop up. We shall just have to wait and see.
What do you think about this news? Can Darkseid work as villain for the Justice League? Sound off in the comments!