Emily Watson, Shirley Henderson tapped to star in 'Dune' prequel series

The series is set 10,000 years before the events of ‘Dune’ and is based on the novel ‘Sisterhood of Dune’

October 05, 2022 11:53 am | Updated 01:32 pm IST

Emily Watson

Emily Watson

"Chernobyl" star Emily Watson and "Harry Potter" alumna Shirley Henderson will headline the "Dune" prequel series at HBO Max from Legendary Television.

The series is set 10,000 years before the events of "Dune" and is based on the novel "Sisterhood of Dune" by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson.

According to entertainment website Variety, "Dune: The Sisterhood" follows "the Harkonnen Sisters as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind, and establish the fabled sect known as the Bene Gesserit".

Watson will play Valya Harkonnen and Henderson will essay Tula Harkonnen. The character descriptions say the two sisters "have risen to power in the Sisterhood, a secret organisation of women who will go on to become the Bene Gesserit".

In director Denis Villeneuve's 2021 feature adaptation of Frank Herbert's seminal novel "Dune", Charlotte Rampling played Reverend Mother Mohiam, the Emperor's Bene Gesserit Truthsayer. Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) was the Bene Gesserit mother of the protagonist Paul (Timothee Chalamet).

The prequel series was ordered at HBO Max in June 2019. Diane Ademu-John is the creator, co-showrunner, and executive producer on "Dune: The Sisterhood" along with Alison Schapker attached as co-showrunner and executive producer.

Johan Renck, who helmed "Chernobyl", will direct the premiere episode and executive produce the show.

Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts, Scott Z Burns, Matthew King, John Cameron and Cait Collins executive produce with Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert for the Frank Herbert estate. Anderson serves as co-producer. The series is co-produced by HBO Max and Legendary TV.

Legendary is also backing Villeneuve's film reboot of "Dune", the first part of which won six Academy Awards earlier this year. The second chapter is currently in production and is expected to be released in November 2023.

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