Through a recently revealed action figure and Lego set, the character of Steppenwolf in the upcoming Justice League is becoming increasingly easier to visualize. With Ciaran Hinds discussing the CG-nature of the main antagonist — and precursor to Darkseid — months ago, the former Game of Thrones actor recently spoke on BBC’s The Michael Ball Show to share that he never stepped foot on set while also giving some insight to Steppenwolf’s goal.
“I’m sorry I’m not in costume. I didn’t even have a costume when I was doing it. It’s all done in motion capture. So… they stick a helmet on your head, they put two cameras around, and they capture all your expressions, facial expressions. So basically, they’re going to concoct some kind of construction and they will use my facial expressions – eyes, mouth, voice – they’ll turn into this murderous, avenging Steppenwolf from the planet Apokolips, apparently. Who’s bent on Hell on Earth.”
With modern movie magic the way it is with motion capture, it’s not entirely shocking that Warner Bros. would go this route. David Thewlis was used similarly in Wonder Woman as a CG-heavy Ares, albeit sharing actual screen time with Gal Gadot as the villain’s “human form.” Even Marvel is well-known to have included completely CG characters at certain points with Spider-Man during Civil War, despite also having time with the actors on set. Hinds also spoke a bit on the difficulty of not being there physically.
“No, I don’t know whether they’re all afraid to come and meet me– no, no they weren’t, really. Because it’s imaginary, you do it with green screen… That was another challenge, you could say, yeah. But it was quite fun. And they’re very encouraging in what you do, suggesting ‘Over here, look over there, imagine that, do this here, they’re coming at you now.’”
Whether or not this is good news for fans of the DC Extended Universe is still very much up in the air. Hinds is known to carry quite the presence through stare and sound alone — how much that will impact his take on Steppenwolf will have to be seen when Justice League hits theaters on Nov. 17.
Directed by Zack Snyder, Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Amber Heard as Mera, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, and Julian Lewis Jones in an undisclosed role.