Recasting Zack Snyder’s Justice League As Villains In The New DC Universe



  • James Gunn’s new DC Universe may recast former DCEU stars in new roles, potentially allowing the Justice League actors to portray villains and continue their journey with the franchise from a different perspective.
  • Casting for the DCU includes rebooting big-ticket characters like Superman and Batman, as well as incorporating lesser-known characters, offering potential opportunities for the original Justice League actors to play new roles.
  • Ben Affleck would be a perfect fit to play Deathstroke, Henry Cavill could embody the role of Ozymandias, Gal Gadot could portray Talia Al Ghul, and Jason Momoa would be an excellent choice for Lobo. Ray Fisher might excel as Lex Luthor, and Ezra Miller’s chaotic acting style would suit the role of Mad Hatter.



James Gunn’s new DC Universe may recast the earstwhile stars of the DCEU in new roles – and while details are currently scarce, it would be interesting to see the Justice League themselves return as villains in this new continuity. While this will certainly go some way to rectifying the controversy surrounding the likes of Henry Cavill’s Superman replacement, it will also allow the beloved actor and his colleagues to continue the journey they began with the franchise. This time, however, they can dominate their scenes from the other side of the fight.

As casting for the DCU gets underway, it may be quite a while, if at all, before we see the DCEU’s main players back within the DC cinematic franchise. Gunn is wasting no time rebooting big-ticket characters like Superman and Batman but is not shying away from incorporating lesser-known characters in the DCU either. The complete lineup remains to be seen, but in the meantime, there are many DC Villains, familiar or not, that the original Justice League actors could be the perfect fit for.

Related: All 28 DC Universe Characters Confirmed In Canon By James Gunn

6 Ben Affleck (Batman) as Deathstroke

A comic book drawing of Deathstroke wielding two swords in a blue and orange masked costume against a dark city backdrop.

Before it got scrapped, Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie was set to star Deathstroke as the main (and only) villain. Affleck spoke recently about Deathstroke and his intended role in the movie, expressing his admiration for the character as a whole and how he could hold his own, solo, against the caped crusader. He isn’t wrong, either; Slade Wilson is among the most dangerous villains in the DC rogues gallery – a dyed-in-the-wool assassin veteran with a stoic demeanor and no qualms about doling out extreme justice in his own lethal way. He would also be the perfect character for Affleck to play himself.

Related: 10 Little-Known Facts About Ben Affleck’s Canceled Batman Movie

Part of what made Affleck’s Batman so alluringly unique in the DCEU was his grizzled and hardened persona, having already tussled with the Joker, endured the death of Robin, and put many of the Suicide Squad stars behind bars when he was first introduced. This would have made for some compelling on-screen interactions between him and a similarly grizzled Slade Wilson, played by Joe Manganiello. It is their similarities and the fact that Affleck’s take on Deathstroke’s fascinating character was never explored that would make Affleck a perfect casting as the DCU’s version of the villain.

5 Henry Cavill (Superman) as Ozymandias

Ozymandias in The Watchmen

Ozymandias, real name Adrian Veidt, is the super-genius and sympathetic arch-villain of Watchmen, a DC property that recently crossed over with the mainline comics as part of the Doomsday Clock limited series. He is the character responsible for ensuring world peace by dropping an Extra-Dimensional Biological Entity onto New York City, giving all of humanity a common (though secretly fabricated) enemy. Should the DCU decide to explore Watchmen, then the athletic, hyperintelligent gentleman already has the perfect casting in Henry Cavill.

Henry Cavill has a real-world reputation for being a standup gentleman with a keen intellect (and a heartwarming nerdy side), as well as an on-screen reputation for portraying pensive and quietly powerful characters. His ability to hold a scene is perfectly suited to Ozymandias’ authoritative presence and arrogance, easily helping to bolster the case for the reasoning behind inflicting untold death. Incidentally, these are the same reasons that made Jeremy Irons such a perfect casting for an older version of the villain in the Watchmen sequel series.

4 Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) as Talia Al Ghul

Talia al Ghul Batman Greatest Villains

Gal Gadot’s tenure as Wonder Woman was among the most celebrated in the DCEU, with her first appearance in Batman V Superman commanding an air of mystery well-suited to the master assassin Talia Al Ghul. In addition to the aesthetic similarities, Gal Gadot has proven to be physically capable of pulling off the athletic feats a character like Talia can achieve. Gal Gadot is no stranger to playing villainous characters, either, as she will in her upcoming role as the Evil Queen in the Snow White live-action reboot.

Talia Al Ghul is very likely to have a role to play in the DCU, as Talia’s son with Bruce Wayne has been confirmed to appear in the upcoming DCU Batman reboot, The Brave and the Bold, as that movie’s Robin. With that being the case, it would be a testament to Gadot’s legacy to have her take on that role – whether as an active part of the movie or as cameo. It could even act as a nod to the apparent spark felt between Diana and Bruce in the DCEU to have her then play the mother of Bruce’s son.

3 Jason Momoa (Aquaman) as Lobo

lobo in dcu

If Hugh Jackman was born to play Wolverine, Jason Momoa was born to play Lobo – an indestructible intergalactic bounty hunter that bears more than a few similarities to Logan. Just about everything from his long locks, chiseled physique, and towering height makes Momoa the perfect fit for the immortal Czarnian. Lobo is a particularly popular DC villain with the kind of playful charisma that Jason Momoa would embody with relish and one that has been calling out for a big-screen appearance for too long.

Momoa is riding high on a wave of popularity following his breakout role as Game of Thrones’ Khal Drogo and, most recently, his record-breaking tenure as the DCEU’s Arthur Curry. He has also already proven his value to the DC Universe by starring in the highest-grossing movie in the DCEU and rehabilitating the image of Aquaman, whose place as the butt of the joke has been decidedly revised following Momoa’s scene-stealing portrayal.

2 Ray Fisher (Cyborg) as Lex Luthor

DC Comics' Lex Luthor

Ray Fisher has not had much of a chance to demonstrate his acting chops in blockbuster movies outside of Justice League, but his role as Cyborg was among the standout performances of the DCEU team-up movie. What little was seen of him, however, was plenty to demonstrate his ability to portray the intelligence, intensity, and obsessiveness of the iconic Superman arch-villain, Lex Luthor. Although Fisher left the DCEU on bad terms following his allegations of abuse and misconduct on the set of Justice League, the DCU reboot could afford Fisher another chance to seize a DC character and truly showcase his theatre-trained acting ability.

1 Ezra Miller (The Flash) as Mad Hatter

Mad Hatter DC

Part of what made Ezra Miller a good fit for the wisecracking Barry Allen was their somewhat chaotic acting style, something that would match up perfectly with Batman villain Mad Hatter. Miller has had a controversial slate of incidents marring their personal life in recent years, leading many to decry their involvement with the penultimate DCEU movie. But should Gunn really decide to recast every major DCEU main actor in the DCU, then he could do worse than to cast Miller as the chaotic Mad Hatter.

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