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Who Plays Doctor Dee On Netflix's Sandman?

Many familiar faces wander in and out of the various domains Dream (Tom Sturridge) finds himself strolling through. And yet even after interacting with demons, devils, and immortals, one of the biggest threats to "The Sandman" is just a man who comes into possession of immense power. In the Neil Gaiman-written tale adapted on Netflix, John Dee has a long history with Dream stretching back through generations and spells that should not have been cast. Although traumatized by his family's past, he manages to turn the tables on this impending threat of a being who can invade dreams.

To manage such a world-breaking capability demands a level of reservation and cool that only a few stars could portray. Thankfully, the casting of this mortal with godly powers in Gaiman's grand tale is as flawless as the rest of the cast that fills up the roles in "The Sandman." From the big to the small, the pumpkin-headed to the darkly feathered, in the case of John Dee, you'd be pushed to fan cast a better choice. After all, who else could you find with the experience of having played a werewolf, a god, and the recipient of a mythical beast's vital organ?

David Thewlis turned up the heat as the evil Einon in Dragonheart

Despite its scathing Rotten Tomatoes ratings, Rob Cohen's 1996 sword and sorcery film "DragonHeart" had everything going for it: a long-haired Dennis Quaid as a knight sworn to valor, Sean Connery as the scene-stealing (but somewhat dated) CGI dragon Draco, and a threat that saw both of them uniting against David Thewlis' power-hungry heir to the throne, Prince Einon.

Five years on from "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," and Thewlis was another British star hamming up the role of an evil ruler with echoes of Alan Rickman's scene-stealing Sheriff of Nottingham. With an attitude as bad as his haircut, Thewlis delivers a performance that begs for his character to suffer a direct punch to the face.

It's by no means his best work over the years, but following his award-winning succes with Mike Leigh's "Naked," there was something about the actor that caught Rob Cohen's eye. Just like many dastardly rotten eggs in the swashbucklers of yesteryear, when it came to Einon, the "DragonHeart" director said in "The Making of DragonHeart," "What makes a villain scary is the brain, not the brawn." Sure, but a little bit of heart helped as well.

He created magic as Professor Lupin in the Harry Potter films

Let a Bludger loose in the "Harry Potter" films, and chances are high that you will hit some top-level talent in what became one of the biggest franchises of all time (via CNBC). It was in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," though, that Hogwarts welcomed David Thewlis as one of the greatest allies to the Boy Who Lived, Professor Remus Lupin. Stepping in as the newest Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Thewlis' reserved teacher and friend to Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is a crucial element in the film.

Besides being a key player in one of the most extraordinary twists in the franchise with that unique Scabbers reveal, Thewlis' performance carried extra emotional heft considering Lupin's tragic history. His being a werewolf also added an element of horror that had not previously been seen in the "Harry Potter" series, although this was tempered by Thewlis' interpretation of the condition as a man quietly battling with an inner beast. As a result, Lupin's few years of happiness make for an even more meaningful loss when he and Tonks (Natalia Tena) fall at the battle of Hogwarts.

Thewlis was the god of war in Wonder Woman

From one character with a dual identity to another, David Thewlis was the friend turned foe in Patty Jenkins' beloved adaptation of "Wonder Woman." Diana Prince's solo gig after "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" (that was actually set before it) introduced her to the world of men and the god who had manipulated much of it. Thewlis played the villain hiding in plain sight, first as the British negotiator Sir Patrick and then revealed to be the god of war, who, in the end, had played a part in the Great War all along.

Though beaten by Diana in a fiery smoke-filled showdown, Thewlis would return to the role in Zack Snyder's long-anticipated cut of "Justice League" during the prologue of gods and space monsters at war. The only difference was that he had no idea he was going to. Following the film's release, Thewlis took to Instagram with a screenshot from the Snyder Cut he never knew he appeared in. "I would just like to say that I have no recollection of this ever happening – I assume it was before lockdown," he theorized, questioning his physical presence in the film. "I do not know these gentlemen ... Anyone with further information please come forward."

He played one half of the Landscapers with Olivia Colman

Before dueling with Dream in "The Sandman," one of David Thewlis' most recent appearances was in another intense role opposite Oscar-winner Olivia Colman in "Landscapers." The crime drama tells the true story of Christopher and Susan Edwards (Thewlis and Colman), who were caught in 2012 and charged two years later for killing the latter's parents in 1998. Written by Colman's husband, Ed Sinclair, the series doesn't lean so heavily on the act the happy killer couple was known for but on their lives with one another before, during, and after the incident.

In a dream-like statement that makes you wonder if the Sandman (Tom Sturridge) was involved, Thewlis and Colman literally dance rings around this macabre story that tries to put the Edwards in a different light than the cold-blooded killers the world perceived them to be. Speaking to the Guardian, Thewlis highlighted, "What we're asking the audience to decide is not whether they're guilty, because they clearly are, but whether they deserve sympathy."

As far as crime stories go, this one, as wildly as it's delivered, is an absolute killer and a testament to Thewlis' ability to lean into the dark side so well. See how he handles it again in "The Sandman," which is now on Netflix.