How Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange Inspired New DC Superhero Casting

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange DC Superhero

Black Adam will not only introduce Dwayne Johnson's titular anti-hero into the DCEU but it is also set to showcase the big screen debut of the Justice Society of America. 

One of the members of the team that has been prominent in the movie's marketing is Pierce Brosnan's Doctor Fate, a DC hero who is mostly being compared to Marvel's Doctor Strange since the two superheroes are both masters of the mystic arts in their own right. 

While the comparisons are unavoidable, a key difference between the two heroes is the fact that Doctor Fate has the Helmet of Nabu and he has been around since the second world war. 

Now, Brosnan has revealed Doctor Strange's key role in his casting for the movie. 

Pierce Brosnan Reveals Doctor Strange Inspired Him for Dr. Fate Role 

Speaking with Variety, Doctor Fate actor Pierce Brosnan talked about how Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange inspired him to take on the superhero role in Black Adam

The upcoming DCEU movie is Brosnan's first superhero flick. When asked why this project was the right movie for him to portray an on-screen hero, the James Bond actor claimed that Doctor Strange is the main reason, admitting that he "loved" the character: 

“Doctor Strange. I loved Doctor Strange and my sons, who are comic book aficionados, would say, ‘Dad, Doctor Strange.’ Well, we all know who Doctor Strange is, and he is epically brilliant, Benedict [Cumberbatch]. But then you have the bookend to that and it’s Doctor Fate. And Doctor Fate is much loved, one of the senior members of the sorcerers world."

Brosnan continued by offering high praise for the film's script, teasing that it "works on many different levels:" 

"Jaume Collet-Serra as a director. Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam. The cast. The text. The text, the script works on many different levels and I think it covers them in a very subtle way and sometimes on the nose, culturally, politically, socially, and more importantly, in a grandiose, epic, entertaining way.”

Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate, Black Adam

In an interview with ScreenCrush, Brosnan was asked if he had conversations with Black Adam filmmakers about Doctor Fate's expansive history and if it matters to him while portraying the character. 

The DCEU newcomer admitted that he didn't feel the need to ask a million questions if it worked on the script. Still, Brosnan gave fans a glimpse of what to expect in Doctor Fate's backstory in the movie: 

"You know, if it’s on the page and it works, then you don’t need to ask a million questions. You play the scene, you play what’s on the page. But you also have a backstory: He was married, he had a life, he had a wife. He has the blessing and the curse of Helmet of Nabu. You have to believe in that and personalize those artifacts with tiny little things."

Brosnan also explained Doctor Fate's friendship with Aldis Hodge's Hawkman while also sharing how his real-life experiences relate to his DC role: 

"I wear my own watch in the movie; it’s a beautiful Blancpain watch, a gift from my wife, inscribed with “Time flies on love’s wings.” That’s also my wedding ring I wear ... so you begin to create your own mythology in little ways like that. You read, obviously, and you hear about the people who have love for this character. So you want to acknowledge that. I’m an actor of certain years and time. I’ve traveled the world and had grief experiences as an actor, as a man. And you bring that into question. And you also have the love and friendship of Carter [Hall, played by Aldis Hodge]. He’s a man who I love, who’s a brother, who we have shared time and history. And of course, in my case, I know more of what’s to unfold than he does. So that gives you, as an actor, an emotional core to what’s happening each moment."

When asked if he is interested to explore more of the Justice Society's past in future movies, Brosnan expressed his willingness to return while also confirming that he already had discussions with the studio about the future of Doctor Fate: 

"Yes, of course. They’ve already had discussions with me about Dr. Fate. But I think we should ... let’s not count our chickens before they’re hatched. I’ve been to this well before, and I think the movie is spectacular. I think you get big bang for your bucks. For the people who love these movies, I think they will be absolutely enthralled and delighted. It’s good entertainment."

Why Pierce Brosnan's Portrayal of Doctor Fate is Highly-Anticipated 

Although Pierce Brosnan is best known for his James Bond movies, being inspired by Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange proves that he is secretly a Marvel fan. The actor's high praise of the MCU veteran is a welcoming remark, which makes it even more exciting to see his portrayal of the DC hero in the movie. 

While a DC and Marvel crossover is not yet set in stone in the near future, many would agree that it would be fulfilling to witness a standoff between Fate and Strange down the line. 

Meanwhile, Brosnan's comments about personalizing certain artifacts from his real life into the story of Doctor Fate in Black Adam make his portrayal of the character even more interesting and intriguing. It also shows how a veteran actor like Brosnan would go all-out in terms of giving life to the DC hero the right way.

Given Doctor Fate's vast history in the DC universe, it's clear that there is a lot of storytelling potential with the character. Brosnan's willingness to play the character is already a good sign, and Warner Bros. could explore the possibility of a standalone series similar to John Cena's Peacemaker and Colin Farrel's Penguin.

Whatever the case, Doctor Fate has been a fan-favorite among diehard DC fans, and seeing him on the big screen in Black Adam is already a historic achievement for the franchise. 

Black Adam is set to premiere in theaters on Friday, October 21. 

- 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.