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  • Actor David Thewlis plays John Dee in Netflix’s The Sandman.
  • Viewers may recognize Thewlis from another beloved fantasy franchise.
  • The Sandman star is set to appear in several highly anticipated projects after season 1.
Actor David Thewlis in 'The Sandman' on Netflix. He's sitting at a counter and has a tub of ice cream in front of him.
David Thewlis in ‘The Sandman’ | Liam Daniel/Netflix

The Sandman has finally arrived on Netflix, and the series is introducing a large cast of characters to its audience — some of them more likable than others. Among the antagonists in The Sandman Season 1 is John Dee, who’s brought to life by actor David Thewlis. Viewers may recognize Thewlis from another beloved fantasy franchise: Harry Potter.

Actor David Thewlis plays John Dee in ‘The Sandman’

David Thewlis plays John Dee in Netflix’s The Sandman, and the actor depicts a man with flawed reasoning who genuinely believes in the crusade he sets out on.

John Dee is the son of Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance) and Ethel Cripps (Joely Richardson), and he’s fed up with the world as it is. He believes he can use Dream’s (Tom Sturridge) ruby to make it a better place. Of course, his version of “better” doesn’t bode well for everyone else.

As Dream later explains, the ruby isn’t meant for human beings — and it corrupts the way their minds work. In an effort to create a more honest world, John Dee winds up hurting a number of people. He terrorizes the staff and guests of a diner until Dream is forced to step in. The character makes for a compelling villain, one that Thewlis captures with nuance.

Where you’ve seen John Dee actor David Thewlis before


‘The Sandman’: A Complete Guide to the Cast and Their Characters

David Thewlis does a solid job of bringing John Dee’s struggle to life in The Sandman, and viewers may find themselves wondering where they’ve seen the actor before. He’s probably best known for his role in another fantasy series: the Harry Potter movies.

Thewlis portrays Remus Lupin in the films, a character who’s far different than The Sandman‘s John Dee. Lupin is introduced as Harry’s Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and he’s later revealed to be a close friend of Harry’s parents.

Lupin plays a prominent part in the fantasy series, and Thewlis appears in several of the films beyond Prisoner of Azkaban. He’s also had a long acting history outside of Harry Potter, appearing in shows like Barkskins and Fargo, as well as films like Wonder Woman and The Theory of Everything.

It’s nice to see Thewlis back in the fantasy sphere for The Sandman, and it won’t be the last we see of the actor in the next few years. So, what else does he have coming up?

What’s next for ‘The Sandman’ star?

Now that The Sandman Season 1 is over and done with, what’s next for actor David Thewlis? According to IMDb, he’s got several projects coming out in the near future. Among them are Enola Holmes 2 and Avatar 3. Thewlis will also voice Boss Man in The Amazing Maurice and play Hades in upcoming TV series Kaos.

Perhaps we’ll see the actor in The Sandman Season 2 as well, assuming another outing is greenlit by Netflix. Season 1 covers his comic storyline, so it’s hard to say how he’d fit into a second batch of episodes — or if the writers would even alter the source material in such a way. If not, fans can still enjoy his interpretation of John Dee in the show’s first chapter.

The Sandman Season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix.