Black Adam producers Beau Flynn and Hiram Garcia talk about how the DCEU film will do Doctor Fate justice in portraying his powers. One of the biggest DCEU films to have been in the works for an extended time is Black Adam, with Dwayne Johnson as the titular figure. While many know Black Adam as Shazam’s arch-rival, the DCEU iteration will be getting the anti-hero treatment. Black Adam will depict Teth-Adam’s grim origin story and reveal how he becomes the DC legend that fans know and love.
Despite Black Adam being an anti-hero in the DCEU film, he will be regarded as a “villain” to one of DC Comics’ most beloved teams. Making their jump to the big screen for the first time, Black Adam will introduce the Golden Age team known as the Justice Society of America, who will be going up against Johnson’s character. The team, which pre-dates the Justice League, will consist of Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Atom Smasher, and Cyclone. For the role of Doctor Fate, iconic actor Pierce Brosnan will don the gold helmet and cape in Black Adam. The character, who also goes by Kent Nelson, is known as one of the DC Universe’s most powerful magic players, and so there are a lot of expectations surrounding his big screen debut.
During San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Black Adam producers Flynn and Garcia spoke to Screen Rant at a WB press line. While promoting the upcoming DC film, the producers tackled the question of how to do justice to Doctor Fate and his power-set. To both Black Adam producers, it was crucial to honor the character’s comic roots, especially when having someone as huge as Brosnan behind that helmet. They said:
Beau Flynn: [With] Doctor Fate, we can pay tribute to Pierce Brosnan. One of the great actors of all time, and I think Dr. Fate is also such a unique, very powerful hero that people want to know a ton about.
Hiram Garcia: I agree. I think Hawkman obviously is fantastic, but the fun thing about Fate is that we have the technology to do Fate and take care of him the right way. Because Fate is one of those guys that is hard to do practical; you’ve got to have some technology on your side. To be able to bring him to screen and know what a fan-favorite he is? That’s really exciting.
This will be Doctor Fate’s second live-action treatment, as Brent Stait brought Kent to life in Smallville season 9 during the show’s major Justice Society storyline. Outside of his one-time appearance, Doctor Fate hasn’t been utilized in live-action with the exception of the Helmet of Nabu being featured in the Constantine pilot in 2014. Doctor Fate had a brief cameo – but only through artwork – in The CW series Stargirl back in season 1 as part of the former JSA. This means that after 12 years, Brosnan’s Doctor Fate will be the biggest take on the character in the live-action medium, hence why it makes sense for the Black Adam creative team to take his powers extremely seriously.
Doctor Fate’s powers are at such a level that he can rival Superman, which would make for an interesting showdown if Henry Cavill reprises the DCEU hero in the future after Black Adam. It’s even fair to say that what Doctor Strange is to the MCU is what Doctor Fate will become for the DCEU going forward, especially within the realm of magic. Therefore, it is important that Black Adam makes sure to properly depict Doctor Fate’s powers onscreen to truly emphasize what kind of force he is. Luckily, it sounds like the creative team already did that. While there are no concrete plans yet for what Warner Bros. will do with the JSA after Black Adam, if Kent gets his own DC spinoff, they could explore the complex aspects of the Helmet of Nabu and the greater mythology that exists with Doctor Fate.
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