Warning: this story contains Black Adam spoilers. It's a question that one might need Nabu to answer: Is Doctor Fate dead? As a sorcerer, an agent of the Lords of Order, and the defender against darkness and chaos, Kent Nelson (Pierce Brosnan) wears the sentient Helmet of Fate to see the future. But Fate's powers of precognition reveal a grim fate for Justice Society leader and old friend Hawkman (Aldis Hodge): he's destined to die battling the demonic Sabbac (Marwan Kenzari). The would-be King of Kahndaq and conqueror of the DC Universe, Sabbac's reign is stopped only by the Justice Society joining forces with Teth Adam (Dwayne Johnson) — and Doctor Fate's sacrifice, sparing Hawkman's life at the cost of his own.
Below, read on to learn what Brosnan and Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra have to say about Doctor Fate's fateful final act — and if the sorcerer is fated to return to the DC Universe.
Did Doctor Fate Die in Black Adam?
At the end of Black Adam, the Nabu-possessed Doctor Fate uses his powers to cast a force field around the ruins of Ahk-Ton's palace — preventing Hawkman, Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) from joining him in the battle against Sabbac. Fate summons all his mystical powers — casting spells, firing bursts of magical energy, conjuring illusions, and splitting himself into a one-man army of clones — but is impaled by Sabbac. Upon dying, Fate dissolves into nothingness.
"He's doing all of those things at once and that weakens him, his powers are split up," Collet-Serra told USA Today. Suffering the fatal blow intended for Hawkman, "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."
"There is a moment of acceptance that his time has come," the director explained. "That last look is accepting his fate, which is a beautiful thing from Dr. Fate."
Will Doctor Fate Return?
As Fate's physical body disappears, the Helmet of Fate takes on a new owner: Hawkman.
"The helmet chooses who it lets touch. And at the end of the movie, the helmet chooses Hawkman," Collet-Serra said, comparing Nelson to "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."
And like the Jedi Master — struck down by Darth Vader's lightsaber in A New Hope, later returning as a Force ghost in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi — the century-old Nelson could return from beyond the grave.
According to Brosnan, producer Beau Flynn told him that "not everything is as it seems."
"So I think the door is open," Brosnan said of Doctor Fate's return. "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."
Will There Be a Black Adam Doctor Fate Spin-Off Movie?
Fans have already taken to social media to call for a Pierce Brosnan Doctor Fate movie. Johnson, who also serves as a producer, tweeted of Doctor Fate's future: "Dr Fate is one of my favorites too and you will see more of him. I promise."
DC's Black Adam is now playing in theaters.