The Max series Dune: The Sisterhood, a prequel to the Dune movies, is now going by the title Dune: Prophecy
The Max series Dune: The Sisterhood (which is a prequel to the Dune feature films directed by Denis Villeneuve) started filming last November, then underwent quite a shake-up earlier this year when the director of the first two episodes, Johan Renck (who executive produced and directed all five episodes of the HBO limited series Chernobyl) decided to leave the project over creative issues, then Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) – who had been cast as one of the show’s lead characters – followed him out the door. Now IGN reports that Dune: The Sisterhood has gone through another change, but this one much less drastic than having to start over with a different director and star. This one is simply a title change. Dune: The Sisterhood is now going by the title Dune: Prophecy. IGN also reports that the show is expected to start streaming in the fall of 2024.
The loss of the director and lead cast member was really just the latest of a series of speedbumps Dune: Prophecy has hit since it was announced. First, the show lost showrunner Jon Spaihts (co-writer of the first Dune film) – and when he stepped away from the show it was said that he would be focusing on working on the screenplay for Dune: Part 2 with Villeneuve instead. The Hollywood Reporter’s sources also informed them that Spaihts had turned in one script and a revised outline for Dune: The Sisterhood (now Dune: Prophecy), and the producers at Legendary weren’t happy with his work. So the decision was made that he was better off sticking with the features. Spaihts was replaced by Diane Ademu-John and Alison Schapker… and then Ademu-John stepped down as well, leaving Schapker as the sole showrunner. Villeneuve had been planning to direct the first two episodes of the series, but had to pass the helm over to Renck because the shooting schedule overlapped with his Dune: Part Two schedule.
Anna Foerster (Lou) signed on to direct multiple episodes when Renck dropped out. Olivia Williams (The Crown) took over the role Henderson vacated.
Dune: Prophecy will be told through the eyes of a mysterious order of women known as the Bene Gesserit. Given extraordinary abilities by their mastery of the body and the mind, the Bene Gesserit expertly weave through the feudal politics and intrigue of The Imperium, pursuing plans of their own that will ultimately lead them to the enigmatic planet Arrakis, known to its inhabitants as Dune.
The show is set 10,000 years prior to the events of Dune and follows the Harkonnen Sisters as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind, and establish the fabled sect known as the Bene Gesserit.
The cast includes Emily Watson (Punch Drunk Love), Shalom Brune-Franklin (The Tourist), Sarah-Sofie Boussnina (The Colony), Faoileann Cunningham (The Northman), Aoife Hinds (Normal People), Chloe Lea (Foundation), Mark Strong (1917), Jade Anouka (His Dark Materials), Chris Mason (Broadchurch), and Travis Fimmel (Raised by Wolves).
Indira Varma (Obi-Wan) was on board to play a character called Empress Natalya, described as “a formidable royal who united thousands of worlds in her marriage to Emperor Corrino”. When Renck and Henderson left and the show went on hiatus, Varma ran into scheduling issues. Empress Natalya is now played by Jodhi May (The Witcher).
Watson and Williams play Valya Harkonnen and Tula Harkonnen. “Together, these women have risen to power in the Sisterhood, a secret organization of women who will ascend to become the Bene Gesserit.”
Brune-Franklin is playing Mikaela, “a strong-willed Fremen woman who serves the royal family while longing for a home planet she’s never known.” Boussnina’s character is Princess Ynez, “an independent young princess dealing with the pressures of her responsibility as heir to the Golden Lion Throne.” Cunningham takes on the role of Sister Jen, “a fierce, unpredictable acolyte in training at the Sisterhood School who rarely reveals her emotional core.” Hinds is Sister Emeline, “a zealous acolyte descended from a long line of martyrs, who carries fervent religion to her training at the Sisterhood.” Lea portrays Lila, “the youngest acolyte at the Sisterhood School with a deep empathy beyond her years.” Fimmel’s character is Desmond Hart, “a charismatic soldier with an enigmatic past who seeks to gain the Emperor’s trust at the expense of the Sisterhood.” Strong plays Emperor Javicco Corrino, “a man from a great line of war-time Emperors, who is called upon to govern the Imperium and manage a fragile peace.” Anouka’s character is Sister Theodosia, “a talented and ambitious acolyte at the Sisterhood who harbors a dangerous secret about her past.” And Mason plays Keiran Atreides, “a Swordmaster to a Great House whose ambition to live up to his family name is disrupted when he forms an unexpected connection to a member of the royal family.”
Villeneuve, Spaihts, and Ademu-John remain on board Dune: Prophecy as executive producers. An HBO Max and Legendary Television co-production, the show is also being executive produced by Schapker, Scott Z. Burns, Mark Friedman, Matthew King, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, and Kim Herbert. Kevin J. Anderson co-produces.
Are you looking forward to Dune: Prophecy, and what do you think of the new title? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/dune-prophecy/