Rumor Patrol: ‘Justice League’ Villain; Will Martian Manhunter Appear?

Published 11 months ago by , Updated June 18th, 2014 at 10:29 pm,

Martian Manhunter and Darkseid in Justice League Movie Rumor Patrol: Justice League Villain; Will Martian Manhunter Appear?

We’re still two years out from the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and yet we’re already hearing rumors about the proposed sequel, the Justice League movie, and its tangentially-related films. One such rumor indicates that we’ll be seeing standalone films for  Shazam, Wonder Woman, and Flash+Green Lantern, suggesting to some that those characters (plus Batman, Superman, Cyborg, and Aquaman) might make up the JLA lineup. So does that mean Martian Manhunter is out?

Not necessarily. The newest Justice League rumor not only claims that Martian Manhunter is in the mix, but that Darkseid will be the supervillain and a surprise character might make an appearance.

What’s the provenance of this rumor? Well, according to The Wrap‘s Jeff Sneider, they got their hands on an “agency grid” for Justice League with details on which characters will be in the film.

Check it out below, courtesy of Sneider’s Twitter account:

As usual, the veracity of this information should probably be in question until we hear something more official from Warner Bros. or someone affiliated with the film. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, can we really expect Martian Manhunter to make an appearance in Justice League?

Martian Manhunter in Justice League Rumor Patrol: Justice League Villain; Will Martian Manhunter Appear?

The green alien from Mars has been a fixture on the superteam for decades, and he was particularly important in the Justice League cartoons. That said, there’s been no indication (until now) that he would be in the film, and David Goyer recently mocked the character and anyone who has heard of him.

Goyer also said the following:

“Well, he hasn’t been rebooted but he’s a mainstay in the Justice League. He can’t be ****ing called the Martian Manhunter because that’s goofy. He can be called Manhunter… The whole deal with Martian Manhunter is he’s an alien living amongst us… So he comes down to Earth and decides, unlike Superman who already exists in the world now, that he’s just going to be a homicide detective… So instead of using super powers and mind-reading and like, oh, I could figure out if the President’s lying or whatever, he just decides to disguise himself as a human homicide detective. Dare to dream!”

Yeah … a lot of Martian Manhunter fans didn’t take too kindly to that. Considering Goyer is a major behind the scenes player in the creation of the DC Cinematic Universe – and presumably a writer for Justice League – how likely is it that he would include Manhunter in the proceedings? Of course, it’s possible he was just putting on a show with all that anti-Manhunter talk, but that seems a bit convoluted.

Then there’s the inclusion of Darkseid, the ultimate evil in the DC universe who wants to control every living thing like some terrible cosmic dictator. Interestingly, he also heavily inspired both Thanos – the major villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and Apocalypse – the presumed villain of the next X-Men film. If he’s in Justice League, we could see the three most similar supervillains from comic books in major motion pictures around the same time.

Darkseid vs. Justice Leauge Rumor Patrol: Justice League Villain; Will Martian Manhunter Appear?

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Darkseid would feature as the big bad of Justice League, especially considering he was the rumored big bad in the previous Justice League script by Ruben Fleischer (and he was also the big bad of the first JL comic arc in the New 52). As far as bad guys go who would require the combined might of the Justice League to vanquish him, you could do far worse than Darkseid.

The other interesting character mentioned on the agency grid is Maxwell Lord. In the comics, Lord started out as a shrewd and crafty businessman who helped run the “funny” Justice League of the late ’80s/early ’90s, but in the 2000s he was retconned to be a villain with telepathic powers, which he used to turn Superman into a weapon. Lord was ultimately killed by Wonder Woman, which kicked off the big DC event series Infinite Crisis in 2005 (he also came back to life half a decade later, but let’s ignore that for now).

Max Lord in Justice League Rumor Patrol: Justice League Villain; Will Martian Manhunter Appear?

It’s this latter, more villainous version of Max Lord that was going to appear in George Miller’s canceled Justice League movie from 2007-2008, to be played by Jay Baruchel.

Can we expect to see this villainous version of Max Lord in the upcoming Justice League movie, if the agency grid turns out to be correct? Or will he be the slimy, crafty business-type Max Lord of yore?

What say you, Screen Ranters? Do you like the sound of Martian Manhunter, Darkseid, and Max Lord being in Zack Snyder’s Justice League? Drop us a line in the comments.


Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters May 6th, 2016. The Justice League movie is expected to hit theaters in 2017.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: Jeff Sneider

Follow Ben Moore on Twitter @benandrewmoore
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  1. I actually liked Man Of Steel so I’m very disappointed to read that comment from Goyer. I fail to see how Martian Manhunter is any more or less stupid than any other superhero name. This stuff was made to be FUN for heavens sake! Their names, their costumes, it’s all part of of it!

    What should his name be? Bloodkill, Deathface, Goredoom? Is that what you need to fill your edginess quota?

    • +1

    • Goredoom!!!

      That name is amazing!

      • I was thinking the same thing. I’m about to name a Skyrim character Goredoom.

    • Honestly I don’t think Manhunter should be in the movie. He has the same power level and near identical power sets. Who would want to see for all intents and purposes a green Superman. Just saying

      • I think you could strip away some of his more Superman-like abilities but leave in his shape-shifting, telepathy, and ability to pass through solid objects. These are all attributes the rest of the League doesn’t have and that to some extent are more readily associated with the character than even his flight or “Martian Vision”.

      • What the hell are you talking about? MM and Supes do NOT have nearly identical power sets. MM is about desolidification, telepathy, shape-shifting plus he doesn’t even have heat beam eyes or freezing breath!

        He is nearly as fast strong and invulnerable as Supes but those are never qualities that are played up and as Matt said above, they can be easily toned down or removed because they aren’t important.

        • He does actually have optical beams and Martian vision (x-ray vision) and near Superman levels with the strength and speed so…

          • yes, that’s why I chose the words I did because MM doesn’t have those specific powers. MM on the other hand has things that Superman doesn’t have and, as I said above, could/should be played up while many of the Superman like powers can be played down or removed altogether because it’s his non-Superman powers that have ALWAYS made him a unique and interesting character among the JL 7.

  2. What they need to do is call the Justice League by there normal names more then half of the time in the comics and Cartoons you here Superman being called Kal by Diana known as Wonderwomen, you hardly ever hear Superman calling Diana Wonder women at certain times he will most of the time you will here Wonder women calling Flash Barry Allen and Green Lantern..Hal so they could just call Manhunter Jonn I mean we already know who they are its not wrong calling them by there normal names

    • anyway Superhero Names are for Ordinary persons in the movie..

  3. I don’t know how you get around the fact that he’s clearly making fun of Martian Manhunter, but if that doesn’t do it for you, he also said anyone who has heard of the character hasn’t been laid.

    • Ironically here he is going on about the Manhunter, with very deep-seated convicted opinions about him too, so clearly he has done much more than heard of the MM.

      *gasp* David Goyer’s a virgin!!!

    • do you have a link to that virgins comment? I haven’t seen it.

      Anyways, I hate Goyer. I’m not defending the man. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was making fun of the character. But THAT quote…that wasn’t making fun of Martian Manhunter. That was joking about the idea that he’s a less than “grounded” character base.

  4. Goyer is the worst. In that same interview he also made some extremely sexist comments about She-Hulk.

    If Blade Trinity and the monstrosity that was FlashForward weren’t enough indication, then his numerous interviews should be. DC needs to kick this guy out immediately.

    It’s too bad Max Landis (the writer of Chronicle) is on other projects, I feel like he could bring a fresh take to the DC universe that still fits with their current storytelling style (“gritty”, “grounded”, “dark”, etc).

    Anyway, DC please ditch this hack.

    • I second this notion. He’s a total tool. There are plenty of other talented directors who could take this on.

  5. Filmmakers today are too banal. If I was concerned about things being cool and edgy I wouldn’t be a geek. I think that’s why ASM did so poorly over sees. Other developed countries seem to lack the USAs MTV take on reality.

      • Yeah, especially ASM. Just going by ASM2’s box office in the US, it did pretty poorly.

      • That should be ASM2 not 1, 2 was received poorly so that’s my fault, but there’s 6 billion people on the planet, with only 316 mil in the US, so your bound to make more money from the rest of the world if ticket prices are equivalent, there’s more people.

        But it’s not about money it’s about what type of films are popular in other countries, what kind they them selves produce. The MTV aesthetic isn’t seen much out side of the US. Hong-Kong, India, Europe, Japan, Korea, all produce amazing sci-fi/fantasy films that I think are a lot better than our block busters. they don’t have the funding and advertising we put into ours though, and Americans just don’t like subtitles or dubs very much on the whole so foreign films don’t get the same penetration in the US as US movies get abroad.

        • thats true, plus foreign countries doesnt have all the merchandise like toys, books, tshirts, ads, etc… i think here USA people get to a ceratain point to get bored and dont go to the movies, plus every movie the director always get his point of view, switch names, gender and all what they think is cool on a comic boock movie not everybody loves that, plus not cb fan base get more confuse.

          it will be nice see some other country doing a super hero movies at least with minor heroes if they can get the rights, i know sound crazy but, it will be a super competition and directors and writers will try to do a better job on this side and not just make cbm just only for the money, the moviegoer will support more
          thats jut my opinion

  6. Also if Martain Manhunter makes it to the Justice League movie he should be a villian similar to Loki in Marvels Avengers, at first before he joins the Justice League and Darksied should definetley be the Supervillian and leave him for last maybe show a glimse of him Martain Manhunter can call his alien army to invade earth with the help of his allie Maxwell Lord and have the entire justice League: Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Women, Cyborg, Aqua Man battle against these dark forces of Darksied and Maxwel. Later Maxwell dies at the hands of Wonderwomen and later we can have Manhunter redeming himself to the justice league and joining with them making himself know to the justice league by revealing his true identy as Jon. Shazam makes a cameo or apperance to the justice league and joins with them at the end of the movie.

    • I agree with ur 1st post about the name calling, but this i do not. I thought id be ok wit Manhunter(Martian) bein the bad guy, but not if it means he is someone’s goon.
      And no this movie shouldn’t have any similarities(though it prolly wil) to The Avengers.
      this is not meant in anyway to bash or undermine your idea.

  7. blah another 2 years of rumors i want something official announced

  8. I hate Goyer so much. The man has some “good” ideas, everyone knows MOS was lifted from Birthright, Earth One, and the old MOS comic. He didn’t do anything someone else couldn’t have done better, especially dialogue wise. “Mom, I found my people.” Yeah, that’s some really deep writing. The man sounds full of himself. Everyone knows Martian Manhunter is a ridiculous name. WONDER WOMAN and BATMAN are wayyy better names *sarcasm* someone get this guy away from the DCCU.

    • The dialogue in that movie was some of the worst in decades. I really wanted to like MOS but I didn’t. I don’t want him writing any more for DC. It’s just the worst..

  9. Martian Manhunter or GTFO of here with this movie. If they can do a character as lame as Aquaman, then there’s really no excuse.

    • yeah but new aquaman is sweet.

    • Manhunter is twice as lame he serves no purpose

  10. I’m definately rooting for Maxwell Lord as the Big Bad for Justice league. I think it’s too early to bring in Darkseid– I would wait for a JL3 for that(Possibly using a possible MOS3 as a set-up for Darkseid). I like the idea of a telepathic villain like Maxwell Lord being able to cause problems for the League.

    If you don’t think it would work, google the “Justice League Mortal” Script.

    Mr. Glass

    • Unbreakable reference?

      • @Levi,

        Definitely. Unbreakable was/is one of my all-time favorite movies.


        • @Mr. Glass,One…of…the…BEST…realistic… superhero…movie…..EVER!! (Y)

  11. While I totally agree that Darkseid is the perfect reason to justify (no pun intended) the combined might of the league for the JLA film, aren’t they kind of painting themselves into a franchise ending corner? I mean how do you top Darkseid for a possible JLA 2? I know they’re not going the marvel slow build up to a team up movie route, with JLA being the third (?) film in this new shared universe, with solo and team up movies following.
    I just don’t see where they could go from there for a JLA2. Brainiac maybe? A more prepared pissed of Darkseid?
    If there is even going to even be a JLA 2.

    • How about Doomsday? Although I wonder if he’s more likely to appear in the MoS sequels.

    • They have the Legion of Doom ( Injustice League) , The Crime Syndicate, White martians, Amazo, or the Anti Monitor.

      The JL have a lot of good villains. They could use Amazo and Injustice league for JL 2 and the Crime Syndicate for JL 3

      • @Not your average nerd

        I’m all for using The Crime Syndicate for villains, however, I think it would be really interesting to see an on-screen (loose) adaptation of “A Better World” from the Justice League cartoon. It be neat to see the Justice League take on the Justice Lords.

        • I must admit the Justice League vs the Justice Lords would be epic!

          But Crisis on Two Earths would be good too.

  12. I think it’s great Martian Manhunter will be in the movie. I see no reason the team can’t be eight members strong. Just think about having Darkseid as the villain you would need the extra hand. So having Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter & Cyborg fighting together is going to rock. The reason I think eight also instead of seven members is because Darkseid is going to bring his minions too.

    As for Maxwell Lord I see him as the man who will help pay to build the Justice League Watchtower. I also think he will have a sinister plan in motion. He will be sneaky and will be using this as a stepping stone for a much darker plan. I could see him being like Lex Luthor in this way. This would give Maxwell and better grip on the government.

    As for people saying it’s way early in the game to use Darkseid I disagree. I will tell you why for the next two JL films there’s many people still to use. I can give some examples. There’s Mongul and War World, the White Martians, Trigon, Legion of Doom, Vandal Savage,
    The Anti Monitor, Krona, The Crime Syndicate & Brainiac. So there’s no shortage of bad guys to use.

  13. I think it’s a safe bet that Martian Manhunter won’t be in the movie, purely on the basis of mathematics.

    We already know that there will definitely be Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash in the Justice League movie, both by virtue of the fact that those five are always in the Justice League, and because of that list of movies Warner Bros has scheduled. We also know that Cyborg has been cast for Dawn of Justice, Jason Momoa for Aquaman is heavily rumoured, and there’s also a Shazam movie on the horizon as well.

    That’s already eight people (the Justice League is always seven to begin with); and in the New 52, those eight people were the original members of the Justice League, Shazam initially getting introduced as a side-feature in the Justice League comics before being brought into the team to replace… I think it was Hal Jordan that left? The reason that Martian Manhunter doesn’t feature in that incarnation of the team (Cyborg takes his place instead) is a long story, but given the popularity of Teen Titans, and the fact that Cyborg is overtly black (as opposed to being a green guy who disguises himself as a black guy) makes him a much smarter choice for the portion of the audience that doesn’t know the comics lore.

    It also gives them an opportunity to adapt part of the New 52 version of Justice League of America, which had Martian Manhunter leading a team of government-selected heroes (including Hawkman, Green Arrow, Catwoman, and Vibe) to counter / match / take down the Justice League. Manhunter was supposed to be a match for Superman, Catwoman was an “expert” in Batman, and so on. That’s a potentially awesome plot device for a subsequent Justice League movie, because you can suddenly inject half a dozen new heroes seamlessly into your continuity, without having to try and either introduce them individually or squeeze them into someone else’s solo movie. It’s also a relatively untapped part of the superhero universe: Sony is doing the Sinister Six and Arrow has the Suicide Squad, so there’s sort of a villain team-up and a “shades of grey” team, but there’s so much potential for teams of antagonists in these hero team-up movies. Honestly, I’m a little surprised that Marvel hasn’t introduced Enchantress or Baron Zemo yet – a Masters of Evil movie seems like something they’d need/want to do sooner rather than later: it’d be hard to have Baron Zemo, the Enchantress, and Crimzon Dynamo without having Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man to stand opposite them, and Chris, Chris, and RDJ won’t be available for an indefinite number of Avengers movies…

  14. Someone said it earlier, and I love the idea of having Jonn start off as an ambiguous character, not sure whether he is good or bad and having that be one of the main resolutions of the story. It could offer some great cinematic opportunities and also be a good first step in an multi-story arc.

  15. The Martian Manhunter was my favorite character when the JLA first appeared. I would be disappointed if he didn’t appear or even worse, was made a villain.

  16. They should stick to Martian Manhunter name so he wouldn’t be confused with the Manhunters which are robot enemies of Green Lantern etc. Michael Ironside for voice of Darkseid or Ron Pearlman. Maxwell Lord would be great to see other than Luthor. Another would be Morgan Edge along with Intergang.

  17. Manhunter is a power house.If he got a movie dc notion would make a lot of money.

  18. I swear to god, if Goyer screws up the martian manhunter…….

  19. The “Martian Manhunter” or “J’onn J’onzz, Manhunter from Mars” is an integral member of the Justice League. Not to include him in the Justice League movies should not even be considered. His super abilities complement those of the other JLA members.