What We Know So Far About Dune: Prophecy

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The Dune universe—already a massive intergalactic affair—just got a little larger. In June 2019, Warner Bros. revealed that a Dune series would be underway, originally called Dune: The Sisterhood, which would focus on the Bene Gesserit sisters whose political machinations are clothed in mysticism. Now retitled Dune: Prophecy, the show is a prequel to the existing Dune films directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Ahead, everything you need to know about Dune: Prophecy.

When does Dune: Prophecy come out?

As of May 2024, Warner Bros. Discovery has announced the prequel series is set to release on Max this fall. However, an official premiere date has yet to be revealed.

Who’s in the cast?

Per the Warner Bros. Discovery press site, the cast of Dune: Prophecy includes Emily Watson (God’s Creatures, Chernobyl), Olivia Williams (The Crown), Travis Fimmel (Vikings), Jodhi May (The Witcher), Mark Strong (1917), Sarah-Sofie Boussnina (Knightfall), Josh Heuston (Heartbreak High), Chloe Lea, Jade Anouka (His Dark Materials), Faoileann Cunningham (The Northman), Edward Davis (Sanditon), Aoife Hinds (Normal People), Chris Mason (Broadchurch), Shalom Brune-Franklin (Baby Reindeer), Charithra Chandran (Bridgerton), Emma Canning (Masters of the Air), and Yerin Ha (Halo).

Variety reported that Succession’s Jihae will also be joining the team. She was cast as Reverend Mother Kasha, who is listed as “the Emperor’s own Truthsayer and confidant. Reverend Mother Kasha occupies a position of great influence in the Imperium. But when a new challenge leads her to question the Sisterhood’s intentions, she finds her role increasingly difficult to navigate.”

Also per Variety, Indian actress Tabu has a recurring role in Dune: Prophecy as Sister Francesca, “once a great love of the Emperor” whose “return to the palace strains the balance of power in the capital.”

Variety also revealed that Jessica Barden from The End of the F***ing World is the latest addition to the roster. She accepted a recurring guest role and will be playing a younger version of Watson’s character, Valya Harkonnen. According to the outlet,Young Valya Harkonnen dreams of restoring her family’s noble status. When a tragedy shatters her plans for the future, she finds herself on a new path that leads to the Sisterhood.”

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What will Dune: Prophecy be about?

According to the series’ original 2019 plans, Dune: Prophecy will center around the Bene Gesserit, also known as the Sisterhood, an influential group of women from the Dune universe whose abilities include mind reading and telepathy.

“The Bene Gesserit have always been fascinating to me,” Dune director Denis Villenueve said at the time. “Focusing a series around that powerful order of women seemed not only relevant and inspiring but a dynamic setting for the television series.”

Inspired by the novel Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, the series will be set 10,000 years before Paul Atreides, so don’t expect to see Timothée Chalamet showing up. Per the official logline, the show “follows two Harkonnen sisters as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind and establish the fabled sect that will become known as the Bene Gesserit.”

Variety reports that the series will have six episodes.

Who’s the showrunner?

The series has undergone multiple creative changes on its road to the premiere. In November 2022, series creator Diane Ademu-John stepped away from her role as co-showrunner, though she has remained as an executive producer. And Variety reported in February 2023 that one of the show’s original leading ladies, Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter), and its director, Johan Renck, had both left the project.

A rep for Max told Deadline, “As Dune: The Sisterhood [working title] has entered a pre-scheduled hiatus, there are some creative changes being made to the production in an effort to create the best series possible and stay true to the source material. Johan Renck has completed his work on the series and a new director will be brought on; through mutual agreement, Johan is moving on to pursue other projects. Additionally, Shirley Henderson will be exiting the series and will no longer be playing Tula Harkonnen.”

In place of Ademu-John, Alison Schapker joined as showrunner, writer, and executive producer, with Anna Foerster producing and directing multiple episodes (including the series’ first).

Is there a trailer?

On May 15, Max released the official first teaser trailer for Dune: Prophecy.

“10,000 years before the birth of Paul Atreides, before the universe knew them as the Bene Gesserit…” the streamer wrote in the caption.

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