Since the announcement that Zack Snyder's Justice League will come to HBO Max fans have been in a barely-contained fervor discussing what will and won't make it into the director's cut of the film. One fan went to Vero, Snyder's preferred social media outlet, and the director about whether the new version of the movie could include the original design for Steppenwolf, the main villain of the movie. Snyder responded to the question with a kiss-face emoji. What that means is up to interpretation, but most are taking it as a positive sign that the scarier version of Darkseid's military general will appear in the film's new cut.
Snyder's initial design for Steppenwolf was previously only seen in a deleted scene from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which was released online the weekend that the film opened in theaters. In the brief scene, titled "Communion," Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor was seemingly communicating with Steppenwolf. Not only was that tease not paid off in the theatrical cut of Justice League, but the design for the character was completely changed for the version of the movie that played in theaters.
In addition to the variety of other teases that he's provided over the years, the director has hinted at what would have happened with the villain in his version of the movie. Previously released concept art showed not only Superman blasting him with his heat vision, but Snyder himself showed a piece of art where Wonder Woman beheaded him. The theatrical cut of the film saw Steppenwolf ripped apart by his own Parademons rather than the League themselves besting him.
DISCUSSION: It seems Zack Snyder confirmed the original Steppenwolf design for his cut. from r/DC_Cinematic
Snyder is reportedly getting the band back together as it were for the needed post-production work on the film, bringing the crew that had originally been hired for the film to complete it with a new score and to finish new & old visual effects that are needed. In addition it's been reported that Snyder might bring back some of the original actors from the movie to record new dialogue.
"Clearly this wouldn’t be happening without them," Snyder said of the fan movement to release the film. "This return to that pedigree and to let my singular vision of my movie be realized, in this format, in this length, is unprecedented and a brave move."
Zack Snyder's Justice League will be released in 2021 exclusively on HBO Max. As of now it's unclear if the film will be released as one mega-sized viewing event or split up into chapters, but a report after the announcement revealed that Snyder and Co. have toyed with both options.