Dune: The Sisterhood has reportedly cast Emily Watson and Shirley Henderson as the two leads in the upcoming HBO Max series, which serves as a prequel to the Oscar-winning film. According to Variety , the pair will portray Valya Harkonnen and Tula Harkonnen, respectively, the sisters who rose to power in a titular secret organization, the Sisterhood. Years from then it would grow into the more commonly known fabled sect, the Bene Gesserit. Dune director Denis Villeneuve was attached to direct the pilot at one point, but has now sidelined himself as an executive producer alongside Jon Spaihts, who co-wrote the 2021 film.
Based on the 2012 sci-fi novel Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, the upcoming HBO Max series is set in 10,000 before the events of Dune. According to the official logline, Dune: The Sisterhood follows the aforementioned Harkonnen sisters as they become involved with an underground organization called the Sisterhood of Rossak, which trains their bodies and minds to achieve superhuman powers in a quest to save the future of humanity. . The group eventually evolves into the enigmatic Bene Gesserit as we know it now.
Diane Ademu-John (The Haunting of Bly Manor) and Alison Schapker (Westworld) serve as co-showrunners and executive producers, with the former taking on additional duties as creator and head writer. Dune: The Sisterhood marks the second collaboration between lead Watson and filmmaker Johan Renck, who is attached to direct the first two episodes. The pair previously worked on the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries, Chernobyl — streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. Meanwhile, fantasy fans will recognize Henderson as Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter movie.
“The Bene Gesserit has always been fascinating to me,” Villeneuve said in a prepared statement in 2019, when the show was just greenlit on HBO Max. “Focusing a series around the powerful order of women seemed not only relevant and inspiring, but a dynamic setting for the TV series.” Both Villeneuve and Spaihts eventually had to drop directing and writing roles to focus on the main film, set in the same universe. Upon release, Dune grossed $401.8 million (approx. Rs. 3,276 crore) at the global box office and won six Academy Awards.
A sequel is currently in production, aiming for a November 2023 release window. Dune: Part Two was officially greenlit on October 26 last year, just four days after the global release of Part One.
Dune: The Sisterhood currently does not have a tentative release date.