Justice League had a lot of problems, though one of the most obvious was its dull villain Steppenwolf. Ciarán Hinds did his best, but the character was unthreatening, the CGI was extremely wobbly and he just didn’t have any qualities that made him stand out. His flaws became especially apparent when Avengers: Infinity War hit cinemas in 2018, with Josh Brolin’s Thanos doing the whole CGI alien space conqueror thing right.
But it didn’t have to be this way. Since the film was released, we’ve seen evidence that Steppenwolf’s design was radically changed midway through production. Apparently, Warner Bros. executives were nervous that Zack Snyder’s original design was too scary, so requested that the character be redesigned late in the process. Not only is the initial look much cooler than what we what got, but the switch is probably the reason why the finished CGI didn’t look so good.
Despite this, though, we’re hearing that Steppenwolf is now returning. Ava DuVernay’s The New Gods will be an adaptation of Jack Kirby’s classic comics, showing the conflict between the twin planets of New Genesis and Apokalips. Steppenwolf comes from the latter, and is a subordinate to Apokalyptian ruler (and God of all Evil) Darkseid. Given that the finale of Justice League saw him getting sucked back to Apokalips via Boom Tube, it makes sense that he’d turn up in The New Gods and that seems to be exactly what’s on the cards for the character.
According to our sources – the same ones who told us a Green Lantern series is coming to HBO Max and Rey would be revealed as Palpatine’s [SPOILERS] in The Rise of Skywalker – Steppenwolf will be back for the aforementioned film and WB will be ditching the Justice League design, using the events of Flashpoint as an excuse to change his look. Despite this, Warner Bros. reportedly still want Ciarán Hinds to voice the role, so there’ll be at least some continuity between this and what’s come before.
Right now, there’s not much to report on about The New Gods. DuVernay has been signed on to direct since March 2018, though as yet, we have no release date or idea when the shoot will begin. And with almost every major production now on hiatus due to the Coronavirus pandemic, I suspect it may be some time before it hits theaters. In any case, fans can at least look forward to seeing Steppenwolf return, and with a new design to boot.