Is the “Dune: The Sisterhood” Prequel Series Canceled?
The 2021 movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel, Dune, instantly became a box-office hit. With a star-studded cast ensemble and a plotline that didn’t differ much from the source material (which is everything the book fans ask, really!), Dune became an Oscar-winning movie!
Aiming to recreate the same success in TV series, Legendary Television teamed up with HBO Max to create a prequel series, Dune: The Sisterhood.
Announced in 2019, shortly after the announcement of the first movie adaptation, this upcoming series received the same amount of anticipation from the original book fans!
While the cast ensemble for the prequel is notably less star-studded than the movie, it’s not without any familiar faces! Famous English actress Emily Watson was cast as Valya Harkonnen, and you will also see Travis Fimmel and Mark Strong, mostly known for their roles in Vikings and Kingsman, respectively.
However, while the anticipation was high for this series, Dune: The Sisterhood seems doomed from the start as it received many criticisms shortly after its announcement.
The reason? The need for more female creatives!
Well, considering the series will focus on an exclusive and powerful sisterhood in the Dune universe, it’s a bit weird not to involve any woman. You might as well create the reverse gender version for the series!
Now, with the first Dune movie being released and the second movie scheduled to be released this year, fans have begun to question if the prequel series already has a release date. Prepare yourselves to be disappointed because the production of Dune: Sisterhood is currently on hold!
But why? And is there any decision on when the filming will be continued? Read on to learn about Dune: The Sisterhood prequel series!
What Is Dune: The Sisterhood About? A Peek at the Upcoming Show’s Premise
Dune: The Sisterhood is a prequel series to the award-winning movie Dune. The upcoming series will focus on explaining the history of Bene Gesserit, a powerful sisterhood and political force in the Dune universe.
The events in this series will be set 10,000 years before Paul Atreides, you know, the one Timothée Chalamet plays, became the hero and savior of humankind. Instead, the leading character in this series will be two Harkonnen sisters, the founders of the famed Bene Gesserit!
Fun Fact: If you find the name Harkonnen familiar, that’s because they (or at least their leader) also appeared in the 2021 movie adaptation of Dune! Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, portrayed by Stellan Skarsgard, played an essential role throughout the original book series and is the enemy of House Atreides. Now it’s your time to shine in the series, House Harkonnen!
According to IMDB, in the original book, Sisterhood of Dune, the story revolves around the evolution of the Sisterhood of Rossack into the Bene Gesserit. It’s yet unknown whether the series will stick true to the book or create its take and twist, but at least it can be agreed that Bene Gesserit will be the star of the show!
Since Bene Gesserit played a mysterious role in the first Dune movie (the voices Paul heard in his visions, remember?), it’s interesting to see the secrets behind the fabled sect’s formation!
Whether we will see several familiar faces from the movie, such as Lady Jessica or Reverend Mother Mohiam, remains unknown, so we can only hope and see!
Now, how is the progress of Dune: The Sisterhood production? Will we be getting any trailers or release dates soon? Or is the project doomed for good? Read on to see how the series is doing!
Is the Dune: The Sisterhood Prequel Series Canceled? Behind the Series’ Troubles and Delay
With the lack of updates on the prequel series, many suspected that Dune: The Sisterhood was canceled. The suspicion isn’t unfounded, considering that several essential people have left the project, not to mention the number of criticisms the show has been getting.
After the development of a prequel series was announced, many fans and critics noted the team’s lack of female creatives. By the lack thereof, we mean there was only one (one, I repeat, one!) female involved in the series production. To appease the raging mass, Legendary Television later added Dana Calvo as the show’s co-runner along with Jon Spaihts.
Mere months later, Jon Spaihts was removed as the series showrunner. The Hollywood Reporter claimed that the decision was made by Legendary Television, who “was not happy” with Jon’s draft.
Here comes the show’s first delay.
The series production was put on hold for nearly two years to find a new showrunner until the production company hired Diane Ademu-John as the new showrunner in July 2021.
Unfortunately, the problem didn’t end there, my friends. The postponement of the series means the production will overlap with Dune: Part Two. Denis Villeneuve, the movie’s director, opted to focus on the movie sequel and stepped down from his role as the series director. He was later replaced by Johan Renck for the first two episodes.
For some time, all seems well. Johan even confirmed through his Instagram account that Dune: The Sisterhood began filming in November 2022. Unfortunately, in February this year, HBO Max announced that Johan and one of the series’ main casts, Shirley Henderson, have left the production!
“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 told Deadline. “Johan Renck has completed his work on the series, and a new director will be brought on through mutual agreement,” the spokesperson continued.
Despite the statement, neither HBO Max nor Johan and Shirley revealed why they exited the series. Since both played essential roles in the series, there’s a high chance that the delay will take several months, or even worse, the show is being canceled altogether!