Veteran Irish character actor Ciaran Hinds stars as the murderous villain, who Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) says "came as the spearhead of an alien invasion" in her land, long before she was born.
In the comics, Steppenwolf is a general who leads the armies of Darkseid, an intergalactic supervillain hell-bent on death and domination. The winged monster minions known as parademons, whom the Justice League are seen battling in the recent trailers, are soldiers of Darkseid.
Steppenwolf's introduction into the DC world was presented in a deleted scene from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, when he was contacted by an insane Lex Luthor (Jessie Eisenberg). Meanwhile, Darkseid's involvement was suggested in several of Batman's (Ben Affleck) confusing, prophetic visions of an apocalyptic future earth.