A shot of Darkseid in the trailer for Zack Snyder’s Justice League references a line from Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Darkseid was among the many elements removed altogether from the 2017 theatrical cut of Justice League, and while Snyder had previously released a handful of still images of him on social media, the trailer for the Snyder Cut finally offered the first proper look at footage of the villain from Apokolips. Played by Ray Porter in the film, Darkseid will be a major presence in the Snyder Cut, but the movie’s trailer also shows that a line of Lex Luthor’s in Batman v Superman will be visually referenced.
The very first shot in the trailer shows Darkseid in the history lesson depicting his initial invasion of Earth, Steppenwolf having replaced him in the theatrical version. The shot includes an Apokoliptian warship in the sky, with its positioning behind Darkseid resembling a set of wings on his back. Though the full history lesson in the Snyder Cut hasn’t been seen yet, this is already a major reference to Lex Luthor’s conversation with Senator June Finch in Batman v Superman.
With Finch having informed Lex that she is blocking his intended import of Kryptonite as a deterrent against Superman, Lex asks Finch if she thinks his father would mind if he were to change “just one thing in this room.” He then points to a painting of a winged figure on the wall and says the line “Because that should be upside down. Now, we know better now, don’t we? Devils don’t come from Hell beneath us, no. No, they come from the sky.” Of course, Darkseid would pretty convincingly embody a devil from the sky under any scenario, but with the shot from the Snyder Cut trailer, the film seems to be making that a bit more literal.
What also adds even more depth to this line and the shot of Darkseid in the Snyder Cut trailer are a couple of scenes with Lex near the end of Batman v Superman. The Ultimate Edition re-inserted a scene of Lex meeting Steppenwolf in the Kryptonian scout ship. Later, after being confronted by Batman in prison, Lex warns of an impending invasion from the stars, saying “He’s hungry, he’s found us, and he’s coming!“
Clearly, Lex knows the attack from Apokolips is on the way, with his journals also playing a more significant role in the Snyder Cut. In any case, Snyder is known to include similar references and visual payoffs in his movies, Superman saving Lex from a punch from Doomsday as a reference to Lex’s “fist and abominations” line in Batman v Superman being one example. With the Snyder Cut trailer starting off with the shot of Darkseid, this is the latest example of Snyder including such a full circle moment.
With Darkseid to lead the forces of Apokolips in the history lesson, the world will have to wait and see if it includes further symbolism showing him as a devil from the sky descending upon Earth. Nonetheless, the Snyder Cut will be aligned with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in every way that the theatrical version was not. Furthermore, the shot of Darkseid from the history lesson in Zack Snyder’s Justice League also shows that the villain himself is already personifying the very evil that Lex Luthor himself spoke of.