Since even before Denis Villeneuve’s Dune was swept into theaters and onto HBO Max like so much sand, a spin-off prequel series for the streaming service called Dune: The Sisterhood has been in the works. Now, despite the fact that everything at HBO Max seems shakier than House Atreides control over the planet Arrakis, Dune: The Sisterhood is still moving forward and now has Emily Watson and Shirley Henderson on board as its stars.
Set 10,000 years before the events of the Dune movie, the series is about the formation of the Bene Gesserit—the sect of spooky magic women who believe that Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides will grow up to be the Kwisatz Haderach, which is some kind of space-messiah. Watson will play Valya Harkonnen and Henderson will play Tula Harkonnen, and if you know your Dune family names (and may the sandworms bless you if you do), you’ll know that they’re ancestors of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen from Dune. He’s the bad guy!
That makes it sound a bit like House Of The Dragon (House Of The Sandworm?), but surely HBO Max can carry two genre shows that are prequels to a big thing. Also, the Dune mythology is so bizarre and complicated that people might not even notice any similarities once the show is out. Aas soon as someone says “Kwisatz Haderach,” you’ll know that’s some bonkers Dune shit.
Anyway, Dune: The Sisterhood comes from showrunners Diane Ademu-John and Alison Schapker, with Ademu-John also serving as creator and writer. Watson was in Chernobyl a few years ago and Henderson is probably best known as Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies (plus Babu Frik in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, one of that movie’s lone bright spots). The Deadline story we got this from doesn’t mention a potential release window for Dune: The Sisterhood, but what are the odds it comes out before Dune 2?