Who Is The Villain In The Sandman?

Netflix's hotly-anticipated adaptation of Neil Gaiman's graphic novel "The Sandman" lurks closer and closer with each passing day, and fans have already started delving into the possibilities for what to expect from the new DC series. Many likely already have some idea of the show and comic's main hero, Dream (aka Morpheus), who is being played by Broadway star and longtime actor Tom Sturridge. But what about its villain?

According to Deadline, David Thewlis is set to portray the antagonist in "The Sandman," marking the second time he has flexed his evil DC Comics muscles following his role as Ares in 2017's "Wonder Woman." Thewlis is also known for his run in the "Harry Potter" film franchise as the werewolf Remus Lupin. The Cannes best actor award-winner also has experience doing television, with his acclaimed appearance on "Fargo" in 2017 as V.M. Varga earning him a Golden Globe nomination. So who is this new big bad guy that Thewlis is set to play? What can fans expect from him?

Meet Doctor Destiny: the DC villain who can enter people's dreams

John Dee — aka Doctor Destiny — may look like a hokey comic book villain, but don't let appearances fool you. The guy is a walking nightmare. "This dude straight up challenged Sandman in his own realm and [tried] to take over Batman's mind," explained Twitter user @ANabs96 back in January. Not only is Doctor Destiny able to enter people's dreams and play with their subconscious minds, but he can also turn them against one other and get folks to do some pretty dark and twisted things. The character does this in both the comics and "Justice League" animated universes, as well as "The Sandman" graphic novels, after obtaining Morpheus' crimson ruby, which allows him to alter reality.

"In Sandman — the art alone is terrifying, but the entirety of the '24 hours' story makes him truly [frightening]," tweeted reader @DaemonStalley in August 2021. "Trapping people in a diner, making them reveal their darkest secrets then turning them against each other, all just for fun."

While Doctor Destiny's appearance and motivating factors have morphed over the years, don't expect David Thewlis' version of Doctor Destiny to be that much of a drastic change from what fans saw in "The Sandman" comics and "Justice League." Dee has been portrayed before in the Arrowverse's "Elseworlds" crossover event by actor Jeremy Davies, but that was a much tamer iteration of the character (then called Dr. John Deegan). You can likely expect the Netflix version to be more similar to what the character is like in the comics, given creator Neil Gaiman's reassurances about the adaptation on Twitter: "I'm hoping we can make something on television that feels as personal and true as the best of the Sandman comics did."