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SYFY WIRE Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Darkseid actor Ray Porter teases Snyder Cut Big Bad: He ‘doesn’t see himself as the villain’

By Donnie Lederer

The Lord of Apokolips will finally arrive in 2021, and he has no issues talking about it.

Ray Porter will portray Darkseid in Zack Snyder’s Justice League when it finally debuts on HBO Max next year. Yes, after all the fan campaigns and rumors, it is finally happening. This past weekend during Justice Con, Porter joined a panel discussion and answered fans' burning questions.

According to the actor, the process of filming Darkseid’s scenes seemed to be just as daunting as getting Darkseid into the film itself. In fact, it turns out that the scope of Darkseid was so massive that Porter had to record his voice work on one side of the pond, and then his body/movement work on the other.

“I was in England towards the end of the movie. A majority of it had already been shot,” he recalled. “Then I flew to Los Angeles to shoot mo-cap and face capture.”

As for the character himself, Porter acknowledged the complex motivations — and delusions — that powered his actions. "Darkseid doesn't see himself as the villain. He believes in what he's doing," Porter said, agreeing that the best villains in any medium are those who don’t feel what they’re doing is wrong.

Speaking of power, it’s hard not to play a character like Darkseid and not have a favorite weapon to use. “I was captivated with the Omega Beams,” Porter said, referring to the unstoppable eye beams Darkseid deploys to disintegrate anything in their path, “As a kid with Coke-bottle glasses and vision difficulties, the idea of some powerful thing shooting from my eyes is my favorite thing of his."

In 2017 when the theatrical cut of Justice League was released (the project was later finished by Joss Whedon after Snyder had to depart the project following a family tragedy), Darkseid was nowhere to be found. It was a tough situation for Porter, and also left him in a bind.

“It was hard," he admitted. "I was in the movie, then I wasn’t. I still had to keep quiet because of the NDA [non-disclosure agreement].”

Still, things have a way of turning around.

“I learned it was coming out the same way as everyone else,” Porter recalled about hearing the news of the Snyder Cut, which Zack Snyder revealed on Twitter. The announcement also left him psyched at the possibility that fans might see more of Cyborg (played by Ray Fisher), whose scenes in Justice League were supposedly excised in the theatrical version, including that of a backstory.

“I am so happy for Ray. He’s such a great actor,” Porter said.

This isn’t Porter’s first foray into the DC Universe. He also portrayed Beelzebub in the Audible audiobook version of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, and during the Justice Con panel, he reminisced about working on that project.

According to Porter, the environment they created for the audio production was "like being pulled into the graphic novel and standing there as it’s happening.”

For a moment there, it seemed Porter’s time in the DCEU would be “on the outside looking in.” But thanks to Zack Snyder’s Justice League, he’s excited to finally bring this character to fans. He summarized the experience in the best way possible: “It’s been a roller coaster ride.”

You can watch the panels from Justice Con on its YouTube channel.