Ayer responded to a piece of concept art showing Steppenwolf in Suicide Squad. The original poster then asserted that Steppenwolf could have actually been in the team-up movie. Ayer then confirmed that the movie originally planned to include the villain, saying, "This is right. Enchantress was under the control of a mother box and Steppenwolfe [sic] was prepping an invasion with a boom tube. Had to lose that then the JL story arcs evolved."
This is right. Enchantress was under the control of a mother box and Steppenwolfe was prepping an invasion with a boom tube. Had to lose that then the JL story arcs evolved. https://t.co/pSAag9rpZq— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) November 25, 2018
Ayer then went on to explicitly state, "Steppenwolf was the original boss fight." However, the villain from Apokolips' influence wouldn't have just been felt at the end of the film. Instead, Enchantress' minions were actually originally intended to be parademons, according to Ayer.
Exactly — Steppenwolf was the original boss fight. https://t.co/p3lgrU77LB— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) November 25, 2018
How Steppenwolf's presence in Suicide Squad would have affected the future of that team and his appearance in Justice League is unclear. Steppenwolf has only made two appearances in the DC Extended Universe, first appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice before becoming the main villain of Justice League. Ayer's original vision sounds like it would have meant radical changes to both his film and Justice League.
Following negative reaction to the film from many fans and critics, Ayer said that he didn't regret his involvement with the film. However, in September, the director explained that the original version of his film had a more complicated arc for Harley Quinn.
Next up on the DCEU docket is James Wan’s Aquaman, which is slated for release Dec. 21, David F. Sandberg’s Shazam!, which hits theaters April 5, 2019 and Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984, which drops June 5, 2020. Further ahead, Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) will soon commence production, while Matt Reeves' solo Batman film is still in the scripting stage.