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Black Adam Director Explains Why Pierce Brosnan Was Cast As Doctor Fate

Pierce Brosnan as the Kent Nelson version of Doctor Fate in Black Adam
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam may be the star of the same-named upcoming DC movie, but he’s not the only character making his theatrical debut after being introduced in the comics decades ago. Black Adam is also bringing the Justice Society of America into play, with its membership consisting of Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell’s Cyclone, Noah Centineo’s Atom Smasher and Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate. On the subject of the JSA’s resident sorcerer, Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra explained why Brosnan was the perfect actor to play Doctor Fate in the DC Extended Universe.

Pierce Brosnan will be playing the Kent Nelson incarnation of Doctor Fate, who was the first person to hold mantle that in the comics and has previously been played in live-action by Brent Stait in Smallville. While Brosnan is certainly no stranger to action-oriented work thanks to his time on the James Bond movies, Doctor Fate primarily deals with his opponents through spell-casting. Additionally, Jaume Collet-Serra informed Vanity Fair that this Doctor Fate is gifted with “raw charisma,” and while Kent can’t match Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam in pure strength, he might be able to reason with him. To that end, Serra provided the below explanation about why Brosnan was such a good fit for the role:

You need a special actor to play, basically, a legend. Dr. Fate is a very powerful being, so you need someone like Pierce who can play powerful without it being overly done. He can do it in a very subtle way. I mean, he’s one of the coolest people in the world—he was James Bond! But as a person, he’s magnetic, so warm with such gravitas.

While it’s unclear how long Pierce Brosnan’s Doctor Fate has been working his magic in the DCEU, it has been mentioned by Jaume Collet-Serra and other people associated with Black Adam that he and Hawkman are the veteran members of the Justice Society, whereas Cyclone and Atom Smasher are still learning the ropes of the superhero game. So because Fate has been doing this a while, he needs to have a commanding presence, though not the the point that his personality and behavior feels over the top. Jaume Collet-Serra felt Brosnan was just the person to pull off that balance effectively, and he wasn’t the only one who thought so, as the Doctor Fate actor was super popular on the Black Adam set.

As far as whether Doctor Fate will have any luck reasoning with Black Adam, although Kent Nelson was heard in the first Black Adam trailer (which premiered on a big anniversary for Pierce Brosnan’s 007 history) informing the title character about how he could be the savior of this world or its destroyer, the Black Adam footage that premiered at San Diego Comic-Con showed the sorcerer using his amazing abilities against the man who was originally known as Teth-Adam, including making multiple copies of himself. But even with his magic reinforced by what Hawkman, Cyclone and Atom Smasher bring to the table, that may not be enough to bring down Black Adam, who, upon being freed from nearly 5,000 years of imprisonment, wastes no time in dispensing his lethal form of justice. However, maybe the anti-hero and the superhero team will come together to vanquish a common enemy.

Black Adam opens in theaters on October 21, and it will be followed by Shazam! Fury of the Gods on December 21. Pierce Brosnan is also starring in The Out-Laws, which will premiere to Netflix subscribers sometime later this year too.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.