The new Batman teaser trailer for Zack Snyder's Justice League comes with an unexpected surprise: the voice of Darkseid, the big bad lord of Apokoplis, who will be the real big bad behind Steppenwolf, in Zack Snyder's cut of Justice League. Actor Ray Porter is stepping in for this expanded Darkseid role, providing both the motion-capture bodywork and voicework to create Darkseid. As you can hear for yourself in the teaser trailer below, Darkseid's voice in Zack Snyder's Justice League sounds appropriately low and gravely, but still retains an articulate intelligence that suggests he's more than just another generic CGI arch-villain for a comic book movie.
Speaking in a previous interview, Ray Porter described the lengthy work that went into creating the voice of this version of Darkseid from Snyder's Justice League:
"I went through a few different vocal gymnastics trying to figure out the voice. I will admit I didn’t know the character incredibly well right up to the point of being cast," Porter told LightCast Podcast. "It was never something I was incredibly aware of…so I didn’t know all of the canon. Fortunately, I happened to be on a set with people like Zack and Chris [Terrio]…I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who understands all of the weird concatenations of that canon better than those people. So there was always that steady information."
The voice of Darkseid has become an increasingly important aspect of the character for fans, in large part thanks to the Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League cartoons of the late 1990s and 2000s. The version of Darkseid voiced by actor Michael Ironside became synonymous with the villain - a deep, rumbling, baritone that deliciously captured Darkseid's unspeakable evil and malevolence.
DC fans still love so many of the characters created for that 2000s era of animation - to the point of wanting to have them directly adapted for the movies. Margot Robbie had put in hard work to get her version of Harley Quinn out from under the shadow of the original animated version created by the voicework of Arleen Sorkin and Tara Strong - Ray Porter will likely face the same kind of scrutiny with his performance.
While Porter clearly put a lot of work into portraying Darkseid, we will likely never see the larger arc Zack Snyder had planned for him, over the course of the Justice League sequels. Still, Darkseid is a large part of the closure that DC fans want from Zack Snyder's Justice League, voice and all.
Zack Snyder's Justice League will stream on HBO Max on March 18th.