‘Dune: Prophecy’ Teaser: Emily Watson and Olivia Williams Are Harkonnen Sisters Creating a Coven – IndieWire

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The “Dune” universe is expanding once more.

After the massively successful release of “Dune: Part Two” and the teasing of a third film written and directed by Denis Villeneuve, the literary franchise has landed a TV adaptation with “Dune: Prophecy.” The Max series is inspired by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s novel “Sisterhood of Dune” — a teaser was revealed during the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront presentation, with the six-episode season set to debut this fall on streamer Max. 

The official synopsis reads: From the expansive universe of ‘Dune,’ created by acclaimed author Frank Herbert, and 10,000 years before the ascension of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), “Dune: Prophecy” follows two Harkonnen sisters (Emily Watson and Olivia Williams) as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind, and establish the fabled sect that will become known as the Bene Gesserit.

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The ensemble cast includes Travis Fimmel, Jodhi May, Mark Strong, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, Josh Heuston, Chloe Lea, Jade Anouka, Faoileann Cunningham, Edward Davis, Aoife Hinds, Chris Mason, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Jihae, Tabu, Charithra Chandran, Jessica Barden, Emma Canning, and Yerin Ha. 

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Jessica Barden was also cast as the younger version of Valya Harkonnen, who is later played by Watson. 

Alison Schapker serves as showrunner and executive producer. Diane Ademu-John co-developed the series and executive produces. Anna Foerster executive produced and directed multiple episodes, including the first one.

Jordan Goldberg, Mark Tobey, John Cameron, Matthew King, Scott Z. Burns, and Jon Spaihts executive produce with author Herbert, along with Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert as executive producers for the Frank Herbert estate. Author Anderson serves as co-producer. 

The series was originally titled “Dune: The Sisterhood” and had Johan Renck as the director of the first two episodes. Renck exited the series, as did actress Shirley Henderson, who was set to play one of the leads. Diane Ademu-John, who wrote the first script, stepped down as co-showrunner prior to production.

Production began in November 2022 and was paused in February 2023 due to the shake-ups. The show was originally announced in 2019.

“As ‘Dune: The Sisterhood’ 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,” an HBO Max spokesperson said in a statement at the time. “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.”
 
The series is co-produced by Max and Legendary Television. Legendary also produces the film franchise, which has released two installments to critical acclaim, the first of which garnered six Academy Awards.

“Dune: Prophecy” premieres in fall 2024. Check out the teaser below.

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