Legendary and HBO’s Dune prequel series Dune: The Sisterhood is worming its way forward. The latest news is that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Game of Thrones actress Indira Varma has joined the cast of the show.


Frank Herbert’s Dune, first published in 1965, is often listed as one of the most successful sci-fi novels in history and spawned dozens of sequels and prequels. Last year, the original novel was adapted into a film by modern master of science fiction Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049). Following the commercial and critical success of the 2021 film, distributor Warner Bros. Pictures commissioned not only a sequel film but also a prequel TV series, Dune: The Sisterhood, to be developed by Legendary Television for HBO Max.

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As reported by Deadline, Varma (Game of Thrones, Obi-Wan Kenobi) has now joined the cast of Dune: The Sisterhood in the role of Empress Natalya, “a formidable royal who united thousands of worlds in her marriage to Emperor Corrino.” Varma is the third actress confirmed for the show, along with Emily Watson (Gosford Park, Breaking the Waves) and Shirley Henderson (Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, the Harry Potter series), who play the Harkonnen Sisters. The series is based on the 2012 Dune novel Sisterhood of Dune. Set 10,000 years before the events of the 2021 Dune film, it will depict the origins of the Bene Gesserit, a secretive organization of women whose years of physical training result in supernatural mental abilities and which exerts a powerful grip on the politics of the empire.

Diane Ademu-John (The Haunting of Bly Manor, Empire) and Alison Schapker (Lost, Alias) will serve as showrunners for the series. Chernobyl and Breaking Bad director Johan Renck has been tapped to direct the first two episodes and serve as just one of the executive producers. The long list of executive producers includes Ademu-John, Schapker, Villeneuve, Dune film writer Jon Spaihts, Scott Z. Burns (The Report), Matt King (True Dating Stories), John Cameron (Severance, Fargo), Cait Collins (The Lobster, The Favourite), Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert from the Frank Herbert estate, and authors of the Sisterhood of Dune source novel Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

It will be interesting to watch how Dune: The Sisterhood performs. While Villeneuve’s Dune film was a major success that grossed $400 million, a good portion of this success can be attributed to name recognition of Villeneuve and the critical praise for the movie. It remains to be seen how well a spin-off show that’s deep in the weeds of Dune lore will perform without these factors in their favor. But of course, given the incredible success of the Dune novels and how few adaptations there have been up to now, there are likely scores of hungry Dune fans who will eat up the show.

Dune: The Sisterhood is currently in pre-production.

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Source: Deadline

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