With Zack Snyder’s Justice League developing something of its own MCU villain problem, it turns out that another big bad from the comics was originally meant to grace the screens of the DCEU ensemble. That’s right, the villainous Desaad was once tipped for Justice League.
It is hard to forget Ciarán Hinds’ appearance as Steppenwolf in Justice League, but most fans are probably remembering him for all the wrong reasons. As a CGI villain with a simplified mission to stick three cubes together, Steppenwolf was hardly the well-rounded antagonist people would expect from the Justice League’s first big ensemble. While it looks like the DCEU may have completely abandoned its plans for Darkseid, it sounds like the movie was at least supposed to lean more toward his history at some point.
Speaking in a Reddit AMA, an anonymous VFX artist going under LDN_Film revealed that as Darkseid’s loyal follower, Desaad was once due to play a part:
“Desaad was in there originally, I’m not sure how far that got though. He looked grim reapery, skull like with a big cloak. Never saw Darkseid.”
While it proves that Darkseid was probably never fully part of Snyder’s plan, it would’ve at least tied Justice League closer to Apokolips and the evil overlord’s possible inclusion in the future of the franchise. The source fails to reveal how or when Desaad was supposed to appear, but it would’ve made sense for him to play a role in Steppenwolf’s flashback assault on Earth.
For those who don’t know, Desaad was created by Jack Kirby and first appeared in Forever People #2 in 1971. Corrupted by Darkseid at a young age, Desaad then became his master torturer and was tasked with inflicting as much pain as possible on the enemies of the New Gods. Similar to Steppenwolf, Desaad was shown to be an influential power on Apokolips. However, unlike Darkseid’s general, Desaad was seen as being even closer to ruler of the planet – further hyping the assumption that Darkseid could still feature in the DCEU at some point.
It is now up to the Warner Bros. to learn from the mistakes of Justice League, and crafting a bigger and better villain will hopefully be the priority of whoever brings the sequel to our screens. With Desaad leading so well into a Darkseid arc, he could still appear at some point during the Justice League’s future. However, with more fans calling for less alien interference and more “human” enemies, who knows which of the rogues Geoff Johns and co. will bring in to face our superpowered saviors in the inevitable Justice League Part 2.
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