Did Doctor Fate Really Die? Black Adam Director Gives Surprising Response

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Black Adam, Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate

Black Adam featured the big screen debut of the Justice Society of America (JSA), which includes Hawkman, Cyclone, Atom Smasher, and Doctor Fate. The JSA was tasked to apprehend Dwayne Johnson's anti-hero, with footage from the film's trailers showcasing massive action sequences between the two sides. 

Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Black Adam

Pierce Brosnan's Doctor Fate is one of the many highlights of the JSA, with the character showcasing his full might against both Black Adam and Sabbac. However, in an unfortunate twist, Kent Nelson met his demise by sacrificing himself to save the JSA and Kahndaq from Sabbac. 

Nelson's death didn't happen in vain, though, as he successfully released Black Adam from Amanda Waller's underwater prison to even the odds against Sabbac. 

In a new interview, it seems that Doctor Fate still has a bright DCEU future despite his apparent demise. 

Black Adam Director Teases Dr. Fate's Return

Pierce Brosnan, Doctor Fate
The Direct

Speaking with USA Today, Pierce Brosnan opened up about Doctor Fate's death at the hands of Sabbac during Black Adam's third act, saying “I forsake my life for the life of my colleagues.”

Black Adam served as Brosnan's superhero role debut as Kent Nelson aka Doctor Fate, but his character's death is, sadly, a one-and-done. The James Bond actor even teased producer Beau Flynn about the JSA veteran's destiny while filming in Atlanta: 

“I told him thank you for the opportunity, but then you kill my character off. Just as I begin my odyssey in the world of DC Comics, he dies.”

While shooting his final scenes, Brosnan revealed that he got "quite emotional" speaking Nelson's final words: 

“It resonated with me as a man who has lived 69 years and is on the cusp of his 70th year on the planet, and having seen friends pass before me, while being close to the passing of lives. There was a deep poignancy."

Doctor Fate, Black Adam
Warner Bros.

Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra then explained Fate's final moments against Sabbac: 

“He’s doing all of those things at once and that weakens him, his powers are split up.”

The DC filmmaker also teased that Doctor Fate "potentially could have beaten Sabbac," but Nelson wanted to save Hawkman instead: 

“Dr. Fate turned that into a future where he died instead, sacrificed himself so Hawkman could live. He potentially could have beaten Sabbac. But in that present prophecy, that would have meant that somehow Hawkman would have died. That’s what he’s trying to prevent.”

Before Sabbac delivers a final death blow to Doctor Fate, Kent Nelson gives a look of resignation, indicating that the hero's responsibility is lifted. 

Collet-Serra described this as a "moment of acceptance" for the JSA veteran: 

“There is a moment of acceptance that his time has come. That last look is accepting his fate, which is a beautiful thing from Dr. Fate.”

Doctor Fate, Pierce Brosnan, Black Adam
Warner Bros.

Still, the Black Adam filmmaker is not counting out Brosnan for a future DCEU appearance, surprisingly noting that Kent Nelson is “a bit like Obi-Wan Kenobi who dies in the first ‘Star Wars’ and yet appears in every ‘Star Wars:'"

“So we’ll all see what happens.”

Circling back to Brosnan, the actor revealed that even Flynn suggested that “not everything is as it seems,” admitting that he thinks that "the door is open" for a comeback: 

“So I think the door is open. I honestly have no idea where this will go. I just know I’m very proud of the work playing Dr. Fate and honored being part of the DC comic book world.”

In a tweet, Dwayne Johnson even promised that fans will see more of Doctor Fate in the future when responding to a Twitter user who mentioned that he wanted more appearances for the magic user in the future: 

"Dr Fate is one of my favorites too and you will see more of him. I promise. We wanted #BlackAdam to be visually stunning so thank you for that nod. [Enjoy] the movie everyone!! #BlackAdam"

How Will Doctor Fate Return?

Based on the comments of everyone involved, it's reasonable to assume that Doctor Fate will indeed return at some point in the DCEU's future, but there's a strong chance that a successor to Kent Nelson will be featured instead. 

Now, this doesn't mean that Pierce Brosnan will not return since it's likely that the veteran actor is still set for a comeback even as a mentor to the new Doctor Fate. This would also align with the Obi-Wan Kenobi comparison of Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra since the Jedi Master did return in the last two Star Wars films of the original trilogy as a Force Ghost. 

Dwayne Johnson already teased that they're "already thinking ahead" in regards to planning spin-off films for certain Black Adam characters, and Doctor Fate could be one of them. 

DC and Warner Bros. may decide to explore Doctor Fate's eventful past and how he eventually joined the Justice Society. On the flip side, a future project could chronicle the story of Kent Nelson's successor, such as the New 52's Khalid Nassour. 

Whatever the case, it's clear that Doctor Fate is here to stay. 

Black Adam is now playing in theaters worldwide. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.