Darkseid is without a doubt one of the most powerful villains in the DC Universe. He has frequently fought not only Superman, but he is also a credible antagonist for the Justice League. Despite this, the ruler of Apokolips has yet to receive a proper live action portrayal. He served as the big bad for the final season of Smallville, while Superman Returns director Bryan Singer stated that Darkseid was to be the villain of the now-defunct sequel. The character is widely expected to be the main foe in the Justice League movie, which is likely targeting a 2017 release. However, recent reports suggest that Darkseid will be saved for the second film in the series. And of course, there’s the big question: Who should play Darkseid on the big screen? Below, I list five actors who should be considered when casting the ruler of Apokolips.
Rourke is no stranger to the comic book movie genre. He plays Marv in Sin City and the recently released sequel, A Dame to Kill For, while he portrayed the villain Whiplash in Iron Man 2. The actor has made his hatred for his character’s depiction in the latter no secret, and many fans don’t blame him. However, a better creative team and another villain whose writing is superior could make Rourke consider the possibility of playing Darkseid. He’s a really good actor who can pull off intimidating characters, and he has the right voice for the leader of Apokolips. Also, his face would be perfect for mo-capping Darkseid.
Armitage was reportedly up for the role of Batman for Batman v Superman last year, before Ben Affleck was cast. The actor had been my top choice for the Dark Knight for some time, but even though he didn’t land that role, I’d still love to see him somewhere in the DC Universe. So why not Darkseid? Armitage is another great actor with a suitable voice, and he has a solid working relationship with Warner Bros. after his presence in Into the Storm and The Hobbit trilogy. And after his brief role as a HYDRA henchman in Captain America: The First Avenger, it would be great to see Armitage take on a villain as big as Darkseid.
Witwer has experience playing DC villains after playing Doomsday on Smallville and voicing Ocean Master in the upcoming Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. Especially with his show Being Human finished running, it’s about time he moves on to a big screen adaptation. While he’s younger than the other actors on this list, Witwer is arguably just as qualified. He’s a solid actor with a presence and voice that are perfect for Darkseid, and the fact that he’s a fan of geek material – see his impressive resume for Star Wars video games and animated shows – is always a plus. He can certainly make the role of Darkseid his own if given the proper script and direction.
Personally, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Santoro ends up being considered for this job. The actor has worked with Zack Snyder on both of the 300 films, and with the director reteaming with actors such as Callan Mulvey and Carla Gugino for his DC Universe projects – not to mention Kurt Johnstad being hired to write an Aquaman script – it would make sense to bring Santoro in somewhere. Santoro has a voice that’s spot-on for Darkseid, and he can also pull off a formidable presence. He can make the ruler of Apokolips a rather terrifying villain if done right. While Santoro is also my top choice to play Black Adam – although Dwayne Johnson may play him in the Shazam movie – I would also love to see him as Darkseid.