Thursday, February 15, 2018

TITANS Casts Bruno Bichir as The Chief

The Doom Patrol has found their leader.

Deadline has word that the upcoming DC Universe digital series Titans has cast Bruno Bichir as Dr. Niles Caulder, better known to DC Comics fans as The Chief, leader of the team of strange superheroes known as The Doom Patrol.  The Doom Patrol will make their debut in the series' fifth episode, "The Doom Patrol", written by Geoff Johns.

According to the article, The Chief is described as "a pioneer in medical science, searching the world over for those on the edge of death in need of a miracle.  Brilliant, but controversial, Dr. Caulder will stop at nothing to help those he believes are in need, including his collection of strange heroes known as The Doom Patrol."

Bichir, 50, is a Mexican actor best known as Fernando Duque on the Netflix series Narcos and for the Mexican films as El evangelio de las maravillas and El callej√≥n de los milagros.  His U.S. films include Julia, Casa de los Babys, Death and the Compass, and Under Fire.

Created in 1963 by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani, The Chief first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80 as Dr. Niles Caulder, a paraplegic gifted with a genius-level intellect.  At a young age, Caulder developed an interest in creating better life, proving to be both a brilliant inventor and engineer.  He received funding from a mysterious benefactor, which allowed him to succeed in creating a chemical capable of prolonging life.  Ultimately, it was revealed that the benefactor was a man called General Immortus, who hired Caulder to create a chemical to replace the one that had been prolonging his life for centuries but was now failing.  When the young scientist discovered the truth about his employer, he refused to continue the work.  Immortus responded by implanting an explosive device in Caulder's upper torso, which he could set off remotely, and any attempt to remove it while Niles lived would also detonate it.  Caulder eventually devised a plan to get the bomb out, but it cost him his ability to walk.

Caulder used his scientific knowledge to develop numerous inventions and innovations that made him wealthy.  He later founded and organized the team called the Doom Patrol to protect the innocent and fight crime, and to teach humanity to accept others who live as ostracized "freaks," who have been radically transformed from terrible accidents.  It was Caulder's genius that allowed the team's members to survive their various accidents, such as Caulder designing Robotman's android body and devising Negative Man's medicated bandages).

In a later incarnation of the Doom Patrol, Caulder was discovered working on a nanotechnology bomb that would destroy half the world and replace it with humans transformed into freaks of nature, under his theory that a better human race would rise from the destruction.  He murdered the original Tempest, Joshua Clay, to protect his secret but the Doom Patrol succeeded in stopping his plans.  During these events, he was decapitated by a creation of Dorothy Spinner's known as the Candlemaker.  Doctor Will Magnus, creator of the Metal Men, built a new body for the Chief, telling him that he should try helping the Patrol to make up for what he did.  Becoming suicidal with guilt, the Chief stated that he could never do enough to make up for his actions, and used his new body to rip off his head.  Magnus wa able to save the Chief by getting the head to a cryogenic chamber, but after this, the Chief existed solely as a severed head in a bucket of ice, subsisting on milkshakes.  He expressed remorse at his actions and rebuilt the Doom Patrol to continue their efforts in the war against weird crime.

In the current DC Comics continuity known as "The New 52", a young and healthy Niles Caulder was introduced in 2011's The Ravagers #4.  Operating a deep underground science and engineering facility located beneath Los Angeles, Caulder provided a headquarters and combat training for the team in their campaign against the organization of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Infiltrating the compound, Caulder was captured along with the rest of the Ravagers by Deathstroke on the behest of Harvest.  During the events of Forever Evil, it was revealed that Caulder had created the Doom Patrol and seemed to be free from Harvest, but this Doom Patrol was unfortunately killed by Crime Syndicate of America members Johnny Quick and Atomica, except for Celsius and Tempest who, according to Lex Luthor, faked their deaths to escape him, prompting Caulder to make plans to "start over".

This will be the first time The Chief will appear in live-action, although the character has appeared in the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Richard McGonagle) and various DC Nation shorts (voiced by Jeffrey Combs).

Titans is scheduled to debut on the DC Universe digital service later in 2018.

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