Well before Dune every premiered in theaters (which it ultimately did in the fall of 2021), Warner Bros. and HBO announced development on a prequel television series for the project. It’s been a long time since we heard much about the project — most of the news about the Dune-iverse has been focused on the upcoming sequel and rumors of Warner Bros. attempting to turn it into a long-running film franchise — but we’re now hearing that the prequel show has found its lead stars.

Variety reports that Emily Watson and Shirley Henderson will play the two key roles in what’s called Dune: The Sisterhood, which is set 10 millennia before the events of the Dune movie. Here’s how they describe their roles:

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

Originally, we heard that Jon Spaihts, who co-wrote the Dune film, was working on this spinoff show, but he later said he’d been pulled off the project to work on a potential sequel to Dune: Part Two based on Frank Herbert’s sequel novel Dune Messiah and to “investigate other cinematic prospects in the Dune universe.” Now the show is being supervised by producer Diane Ademu-John. Chernobyl’s Johan Renck is directing the first episode.

Meanwhile, Dune: Part Two, which adapts the second half of Herbert’s original Dune novel, is in production now, and scheduled to open in theaters on November 17, 2023.

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