Ever since it was announced that one-time Marvel villain Willem Dafoe was joining the cast of Justice League Part One in a non-specific "heroic" role, the internets have been abuzz with potential roles for the brilliant character actor to play. We've heard them all and thought of them all, and now Brandy and I are going to battle it out to discover once and for all who Willem Dafoe is playing in the DCEU.
STEVE: This seems to be the most prevalent theory out there at the moment, and one which I think holds some water. While Dr. Fate is more closely aligned with the Justice Society, he could be a holdover from the old guard, looking to help the new Justice League find their footing. It's not great, but it's a possibility, and DC has such a depth of characters from a variety of eras that it wouldn't be out of place to have an older superhero hanging around, laying dormant, waiting for a new generation worthy of carrying the torch. The character has also been established in such well-known DC properties as Smallville and Young Justice, so it wouldn't be a huge leap to bring him into the DCEU. Plus, it also opens the door to bring Detective Chimp into the DCEU, which is a win-win in my book. How about you, Brandy? Who do you think Willem Dafoe is playing?
BRANDY: Very nice choice, Steve. Very obvious. Very safe. Very easy. My bet? Dafoe is gonna be...
BRANDY: That's right. The last Son of Mars. Martian fucking Manhunter himself. J'onn is one of the most popular characters in the JLA, and it'd be pretty heavy fan-service to throw him in the films. It would make the most sense, as Dafoe is pretty old to be playing a live-action superhero, but a CGI character would make a lot of sense- and he's a dead ringer physically for Detective John Jones, Manhunter's Earth alias. Plus, I feel like, in Snyder's universe, Dafoe's slightly sinister signature delivery would blend pretty seamlessly with Martian Manhunter's more traditionally stoic persona, and Dafoe has done mo-cap work before for John Carter, and we all know how often he's been cast as someone green. Any more ideas, Steve?
STEVE: Chide me for being obvious about Kent Nelson and then pull out Martian Manhunter? I salute your balls of steel. I cower in their presence. Okay, well presuming he's not playing some nobody made-up character like Scoot McNairy in BvS, I'd say the least most obvious choice left might just be...
Ollie Queen/Green Arrow
STEVE: So what was the one element lacking from Zack Snyder's attempt to recreate the fourth book from Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns? No, it's not Ronald Reagen, though a creepy cg Reagan a là Nixon in Watchmen might have been a nice twist. Nope, it's an aged and weathered, but spry Oliver Queen, and if there were a series of adjectives best suited to Willem Dafoe, it's aged and weathered, but spry. I thought for sure that was the one surprise not revealed by Snyder in his endless series of spoilerific trailers and the character would pop up, but it was apparently better to go the "Batman forges a murder stick out of Kryptonite" route in a PG-13 family flick.
But I digress... Dafoe could KILL this role and judging by how drastically different the DCEU is attempting to make itself from DC's television shows, pitching the character familiar to the masses as an old man, that makes this one a no-brainer. Green Arrow the vigilante lying in wait. Word on the street is that they're searching for a Black Canary, and with Dafoe as the love interest, I would expect them to cast a twenty year old. But that's a conversation for another battle. Okay Brandy, hit me with your best shot, this is your last chance to actually score a point in this contest ;-)
BRANDY: Snyder loves to cast old men as superheroes, it's true. Which mean you might have a shot if you audition, Steve. ;) (ed. Cold!) I feel like Dafoe would be a bit too murder-y looking for Ollie Queen, though. My final guess? Wait for it, this one is a bit obscure...
BRANDY: So Cyborg's father, according to the New 52, is no longer the sole creator of Cyborg. Silas Stone's colleague T.O. Morrow helped create the current Cyborg. There's a 4chan rumor that says Morrow is supposed to show up in the DCCU, and if this is the case, Dafoe would be perfect for his complicated story. Plus, Morrow has a history of going bad, which is where Dafoe really shines. Or maybe this whole theory is just wishful thinking, because Morrow is the creator of the Red Tornado, and I'm just really hoping I see Red Tornado on the big screen.
STEVE: Well, it's funny because I don't think he's playing any of these four. No, I'm gonna go the dark horse route here and say that if Snyder is seriously going the New Gods route, I think Dafoe is playing Orion. Yes, Orion!
STEVE: If Darkseid is indeed the big baddie that the Justice League will face off against, then who better to aid in that fight than Darkseid's son who has been battling him for years on Apokolips? If there's one thing that the goofier characters in this universe will need to add credibility, it's some well known and respected actors, and who better than Willem Dafoe to usher in a new era of gods and monsters? In all honesty, he's probably playing some nobody and we'll look stupid a year and a half from now when the movie comes out and he's just some guy who works for Bruce Wayne who dies in a building collapse or whatever. It's the Snyder way.