Dune: Prophecy is an upcoming American science fiction television series created by Diane Ademu-John.[1] It serves as a prequel to the film Dune (2021), which was based on the 1963–1965 novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, and focuses on the origins of the Bene Gesserit, an exclusive and powerful sisterhood who undergo intense physical training and mental conditioning to obtain superhuman abilities, taking place approximately 10,000 years before the events of the film. The series is produced by Legendary Television, with Alison Schapker serving as showrunner, writer, and executive producer.

Dune: Prophecy
Genre
Created byDiane Ademu-John
Based on
ShowrunnerAlison Schapker
Starring
Music byVolker Bertelmann
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Production
Executive producers
  • Diane Ademu-John
  • Alison Schapker
  • Jon Spaihts
  • Scott Z. Burns
  • Matthew King
  • John Cameron
  • Cait Collins
  • Brian Herbert
  • Byron Merritt
  • Kim Herbert
  • Dana Calvo
ProducerKevin J. Anderson
Production locations
  • Hungary
  • Jordan
Production companies
Original release
NetworkHBO

During Legendary Entertainment's 2016 acquisition of television and film rights for the Dune franchise, they began development of a two-part film adaptation with Denis Villeneuve serving as director by 2017. Legendary Television ordered the series in 2019, being a spin-off project from Villeneuve's films. Various creative figures have joined by 2019, and following creative overhauls, Schapker became the show-runner with Anna Foerster serving as director for multiple episodes by June 2023. Meanwhile, casting took place from November 2022 to June 2023. Filming began by November 2022 in Budapest and Jordan and wrapped by December 2023.

Dune: Prophecy is scheduled to premiere as an HBO original on both HBO and the streaming service Max in November 2024.

Premise

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Set 10,000 years before the events of Dune, the series "follows sisters Valya and Tula Harkonnen as they combat forces that threaten the future of humanity, and establish the fabled sect known as the Bene Gesserit."[2]

Cast

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Main

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  • Emily Watson as Valya Harkonnen, leader of the Sisterhood[3]
  • Olivia Williams as Tula Harkonnen, Valya's sister[4]
  • Jodhi May as Empress Natalya,[4] "a formidable royal who united thousands of worlds in her marriage to Emperor Corrino."[5]
  • Sarah-Sofie Boussnina as Princess Ynez, "an independent young princess dealing with the pressures of her responsibility as heir to the Golden Lion Throne."[6]
  • Shalom Brune-Franklin as Mikaela, "a strong-willed Fremen woman who serves the royal family while longing for a home planet she's never known."[6]
  • Faoileann Cunningham as Sister Jen, "a fierce, unpredictable acolyte in training at the Sisterhood School who rarely reveals her emotional core."[6]
  • Aoife Hinds as Sister Emeline, "a zealous acolyte descended from a long line of martyrs, who carries fervent religion to her training at the Sisterhood."[6]
  • Chloe Lea as Lila, "the youngest acolyte at the Sisterhood School with a deep empathy beyond her years."[6]
  • Travis Fimmel as Desmond Hart, "a charismatic soldier with an enigmatic past, who seeks to gain the Emperor's trust at the expense of the Sisterhood."[2]
  • Mark Strong as 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."[1]
  • Jade Anouka as Sister Theodosia, "a talented and ambitious acolyte at the Sisterhood who harbors a dangerous secret about her past."[1]
  • Chris Mason as 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."[1]

Recurring

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  • Josh Heuston as Constantine Corrino, the illegitimate son of Javicco who is "torn between seeking his father's approval and his own happiness."[7]
  • Edward Davis as Harrow Harkonnen, a "rising politician from a once-great family, who harbors a strong desire to elevate his House to its former glory."[7]
  • Tabu as Sister Francesca, the Emperor's former lover whose return to the palace "strains the balance of power in the capital."[8]
  • Jihae as Reverend Mother Kasha Jinjo, the Emperor's Truthsayer, whose loyalty to the Sisterhood is challenged.[9]

Production

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Development

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In November 2016, Legendary Entertainment had acquired the film and television rights for the 1965 novel Dune by Frank Herbert from his estate.[10][11] Legendary eventually contacted Denis Villeneuve to direct a two-part film adaptation of the novel by the next month, and was confirmed as director by February 2017.[12][13] Legendary Television announced a full series order of Dune: The Sisterhood in June 2019, produced for WarnerMedia's then-streaming service HBO Max.[14][15][16] The series would focus on the Bene Gesserit order and serve as a prequel to Villeneuve's Dune (2021).[17] Villeneuve was set to direct and produce the series' pilot with Jon Spaihts writing the screenplay. Both would serve as executive producers alongside Byron Merritt, Kim Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, and Herbert's son, Brian.[18][19] Villeneuve said, "The Bene Gesserit have always been fascinating to me. Focusing a series around that powerful order of women seemed not only relevant and inspiring but a dynamic setting for the television series."[20]

Shortly after its announcement, the project received criticism for its lack of female creatives except for Herbert's granddaughter, Kim Herbert.[21][22] Dana Calvo was hired in July 2019 to serve as showrunner alongside Spaihts.[23][24] In November 2019, Spaihts left the series to focus on Dune: Part Two (2024).[25][26] The Hollywood Reporter reported that Legendary Television was "not happy" with Spaihts's early work as showrunner and opted to remove him.[25] Diane Ademu-John had been hired as the new showrunner by July 2021.[27][28] As production of Dune: Part Two progressed, Villeneuve was no longer able to direct and replaced by Johan Renck as director for the first two episodes in April 2022.[29] Shortly after production began, Diane Ademu-John had exited the project as co-showrunner but remained the executive producer; this left Alison Schapker as the sole showrunner.[30] In February 2023, Renck also exited the project, resulting in the project being on hiatus.[4] He was replaced by Anna Foerster that June, who would direct multiple episodes, including the pilot.[31] In November 2023, the series was retitled Dune: Prophecy and set to release on WarnerMedia's new streaming service, Max.[32][33]

Casting

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In October 2022, Emily Watson, Shirley Henderson, Indira Varma, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Faoileann Cunningham, Aoife Hinds, and Chloe Lea were cast to star in the series.[3][5][6] Travis Fimmel joined the cast the following month.[2][34] On December 1, 2022, Mark Strong, Jade Anouka, and Chris Mason joined the cast in starring roles.[1] Josh Heuston and Edward Davis would join in recurring roles later that month.[7] During Renck's exit in February 2023, Henderson had also left.[31] In June, Olivia Williams was cast to replace Henderson, with Jodhi May cast to replace Varma, who exited the series due to scheduling conflicts.[4] In May 2024, it was announced that Tabu had joined the cast of the series as Sister Francesca,[8] and Jihae was cast as Reverend Mother Kasha, the Emperor's Truthsayer.[9]

Filming

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The series was originally scheduled to start filming on November 2, 2020, in Budapest and Jordan.[35] It began production on November 22, 2022, under the working title Dune: The Sisterhood, with Renck confirming the start on his Instagram account.[36][37] In July 2023, Deadline Hollywood reported that production was set to resume in Budapest amidst the WGA and SAG strikes due to the series' talent working under the UK-based union Equity.[38] Filming had concluded by December 2023, with Pierre Gill having served as lead cinematographer. Gill did not use the StageCraft virtual production technology, which he had previously utilized in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, as the production primarily relied on practical sets and production values.[39]

Music

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Jónsi was originally hired to compose the show's score.[40] However, by October 2023, Volker Bertelmann was set to compose the score for the series.[41]

Marketing

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Max released a teaser trailer for the series on May 15, 2024.[42] A second teaser was released on July 18, 2024.[43]

Release

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Originally to premiere on the streaming service Max, Dune: Prophecy was rebranded as an HBO original in July 2024 and is scheduled to be released on Max and HBO in November 2024.[32][44]

References

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  1. ^ a b c d e Otterson, Joe (December 1, 2022). "Dune Prequel Series at HBO Max Adds Mark Strong, Jade Anouka, Chris Mason". Variety. Archived from the original on July 5, 2023. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Otterson, Joe (November 8, 2022). "Dune Prequel Series at HBO Max Casts Travis Fimmel". Variety. Archived from the original on November 9, 2022. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (October 4, 2022). "Dune Prequel Series at HBO Max Casts Emily Watson, Shirley Henderson". Variety. Archived from the original on October 17, 2022. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d Cordero, Rosy (June 30, 2023). "Dune: The Sisterhood: Olivia Williams & Jodhi May Join Max Series in Recastings as Anna Foerster Boards as New Director". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 14, 2023. Retrieved June 30, 2023.
  5. ^ a b Wiseman, Andreas (October 13, 2022). "Dune: The Sisterhood: Game of Thrones & Obi-Wan Star Indira Varma Joins HBO Max & Legendary Prequel Series as Empress Natalya". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 10, 2023. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Petski, Denise (October 20, 2022). "Dune: The Sisterhood: Sarah-Sofie Boussnina Among 5 Cast in HBO Max Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 1, 2023. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  7. ^ a b c Otterson, Joe (December 13, 2022). "Dune Prequel Series at HBO Max Adds Josh Heuston, Edward Davis". Variety. Archived from the original on March 27, 2023. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (May 13, 2024). "Dune: Prophecy Casts Indian Superstar Tabu (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on May 13, 2024. Retrieved May 13, 2024.
  9. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (May 15, 2024). "Dune: Prophecy Casts Succession Alum Jihae". Variety. Archived from the original on May 15, 2024. Retrieved May 15, 2024.
  10. ^ Busch, Anita (November 21, 2016). "Legendary Acquires Frank Herbert's Classic Sci-Fi Novel Dune For Film And TV". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 22, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
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  21. ^ Asher-Perrin, Emily (June 11, 2019). "Dune: The Sisterhood Series in the Works For WarnerMedia's New Streaming Service". Tor.com. Archived from the original on June 29, 2019. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
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  31. ^ a b Cordero, Rosy; Andreeva, Nellie (February 28, 2023). "Dune: The Sisterhood: Director Johan Renck & Star Shirley Henderson Exit HBO Max Series Amid Creative Overhaul & Production Hiatus". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 7, 2023. Retrieved March 1, 2023.
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  38. ^ Grobar, Matt (July 14, 2023). "Dune: The Sisterhood Soon to Resume Production in Hungary Following Winter Hiatus, Will Continue Throughout Strikes". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 14, 2023. Retrieved July 14, 2023.
  39. ^ McPherson, Chris (January 15, 2024). "'Dune: Prophecy' Didn't Use the Volume". Collider. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 4, 2024.
  40. ^ "Jónsi". Representing Composers & Music Supervisors. Archived from the original on December 4, 2022. Retrieved December 4, 2022.
  41. ^ "Volker Bertelmann to Score Max's Dune: The Sisterhood". Film Music Reporter. October 16, 2023. Archived from the original on October 17, 2023. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
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  43. ^ Dunn, Jack (July 18, 2024). "'Dune: Prophecy' Trailer: The Bene Gesserit Are Created in Prequel Series Set 10,000 Years Before 'Dune,' November Release Set". Variety. Retrieved July 18, 2024.
  44. ^ White, Peter (July 11, 2024). "Max Originals The Penguin & Dune: Prophecy Moving to HBO". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 11, 2024. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
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