HBO Max’s Dune prequel show Dune: The Sisterhood casts Emily Watson and Shirley Henderson as Bene Gesserit figures who are tied to House Harkonnen.
The Dune prequel show Dune: The Sisterhood takes a big step forward by casting two pivotal Bene Gesserit figures. Frank Herbert’s iconic sci-fi novel became the basis for a new franchise from Denis Villeneuve in 2021. After a failed adaptation by David Lynch, the celebrated director turned Dune into a critical and box office hit. Starring Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica, and Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto, the movie boasted a massive sci-fi scope and exceeded expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The success allowed Villeneuve to continue expanding the world with Dune: Part Two and a Dune HBO Max prequel series.
Plans for the prequel Dune series began to take shape in 2019 when Villeneuve and writer Jon Spaihts reteamed to develop a show about the origins of the Bene Gesserit. The mysterious group of all-women spies played a pivotal role in Dune due to their schemes to bring about the birth of their chosen one, the Kwisatz Haderach. The series has not made much progress since that original announcement, as Dune: The Sisterhood has instead undergone some creative changes. The fate of the Dune prequel show was once again put in question as HBO Max began changing its strategy for original releases.
According to a new report from Deadline, the two main characters for Dune: The Sisterhood have now been cast. Chernobyl‘s Emily Watson and Harry Potter‘s Shirley Henderson are set to lead the Dune prequel cast as members of the Bene Gesserit. Watson and Henderson will play Valya Harkonnen and Tula Harkonnen, respectively. They are sisters who have risen to power within the Sisterhood, the organization that eventually becomes the Bene Gesserit. Dune: The Sisterhood is set 10,000 years before Paul Atreides’ story and follows the Harkonnen sisters as they transform the Sisterhood into the Bene Gesserit. It is not known when the show will begin production or debut on HBO Max.
How Dune: The Sisterhood Can Connect To Dune 2
The positive movement for Dune: The Sisterhood with casting the Harkonnen sisters comes as Dune 2 is in the middle of production. Although it seems likely that the Dune sequel will come out before the prequel show, that does not mean connections will not be made between them. Villeneuve has already confirmed that Dune 2 will explore more of the Harkonnen family. This could include flashbacks showing the roles that Valya and Tula Harkonnen played within the family thousands of years before.
The biggest way that Dune: The Sisterhood could connect to Dune 2 is by providing additional information on how the Bene Gesserit rose to power in the galaxy and became such an influential group in relative secret. Lady Jessica’s role in Dune 2 should ensure that the Bene Gesserit remain key figures in the sequel, while Feyd Rautha Harkonnen’s introduction will also bring about more talks of their Kwitsatz Haderach plan. Dune: The Sisterhood can show the origin of this plan and why this became the Bene Gesserit’s mission.