Despite following the same storyline as the comic books, Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman also changes a few details about how the main character (David Thewlis) was born. As a comic book author, Gaiman tried to fit the Endless epic into a DC universe.
When choosing the big villain for his first volume, Preludes, and Nocturnes, the writer went with a forgotten Justice League villain, John Dee, aka Doctor Destiny. Because Netflix couldn’t use other DC characters, they adapted the villain’s origin story for the series. Describe John Dee from Netflix’s The Sandman. What changes did they make to the villain for the live-action version?
As opposed to picking an existent villain to battle Morpheus (Tom Sturridge), The Sandman focuses on John Dee and his role in Morpheus’ imprisonment. Due to Roderick Burgess’ (Charles Dance’s) master of the mystic arts who summoned and trapped Morpheus for generations, John Dee is the unwanted child of the Magus.
The pregnant Ethel Cripps (Niamh Walsh/Joely Richardson), the mother of John, flees from Magus after finding out she’s pregnant – Magus wants her to have an abortion. In addition, she steals Dream’s tools from Magus’ vault, a decision that, unfortunately, curses her child for the rest of his life.
A pouch of Dream Sand is sold by Ethel in order to escape London and make a life for herself in America. Additionally, she trades Dream’s Helm for an amulet of protection from a demon from hell. She keeps the Dreamstone ruby for herself but lends it to her son on his birthdays so he can fulfill his dreams.
As a result of his addiction, John steals his mother’s Dreamstone and changes its properties to only respond to his dreams. When John loses control of the Dreamstone power, he kills many people. This is due to the power of the Dreamstone being too strong for the human mind. In order to protect her son, Ethel locks him up in a mental institution for thirty years.
As a result, Ethel instructs the doctors to never mention the Dreamstone, deceiving John about the existence of the artifact. When Morpheus escapes his prison, the Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook) realizes that his former master is going to try to regain his tools.
As a means of preventing Morpheus from regaining his powers, the Nightmare convinces Ethel that she is in danger. Ethel visits her son in the mental facility out of fear that Morpheus is coming to get revenge on her and John for stealing his tools. She presents him with her amulet of protection and asks him not to pursue the Dreamstone again.
Ethel begs John not to escape the mental facility, but he uses the amulet of protection to escape. As a result of decades of heavy medication and deception about the Dreamstone’s existence and powers, John developed a pathological aversion to any kind of lying. There is no doubt that lying is an important part of adult life and an important tool to use in everyday life.
Since John cannot understand this, he uses the Dreamstone to remove lies from the waking world. It is inevitable that humans will give in to their deepest desires without considering the consequences, which will lead to a lot of destruction. Dreams can also be removed from the world by removing every type of lie.
Because of John’s childish perceptions of truths and lies, hope, fantasy, and wishful thinking disappear. Because he’s the King of Dreams, it’s no wonder he becomes one of Morpheus’ greatest enemies, as he’s responsible for making the waking world dream so that people can keep living. In Netflix’s The Sandman, John Dee keeps all his powers and remains Morpheus’ first big nemesis.
While the series focuses solely on his family history, it erases the villain’s connection to the Justice League. This allows the series to explore the villain’s broken psyche, making him terrifying. Netflix’s series, with Thewlis’ outstanding performance bringing John Dee to life, is the perfect adaptation of the story.
Robert Poirrer is a contributing author who covers Hollywood latest movie releases and web series for the MovieThop website. He has a decade of experience in writing movies based articles for numerous renowned media outlets. He is excellent at creating unique content based on emerging trends in a variety of categories especially entertainment, movies and lifestyle. When not writing articles you could find Robert enjoying mountain biking trips with his friends. He graduated in English Literature from North Carolina State University.