Dune Director Denis Villeneuve Speaks Out on The Sisterhood Spinoff Series for HBO Max

The Dune prequel series The Sisterhood is making progress. The series focuses on the Bene Gesserit, the mysterious order to which Paul Atreides’ mother, Lady Jessica, belongs. Dune director Denis Villeneuve didn’t offer any specifics to Deadline from the Producers Guild of America Awards ceremony but did say, “We’ll see what happens. The TV series is a work in progress, it’s moving forward.” The HBO Max series recently hired Diane Ademu-John as its showrunner, replacing Dana Calvo. Ademu-John’s credits include work on The Haunting of Bly Manor, The Originals, and The Vampire Diaries. John Spaihts, who co-wrote Dune’s script, also wrote The Sisterhood.

“Oh, that is carrying on and I’m not allowed to talk about it very much,” Spaihts said during an interview with The Playlist. “But that effort is alive and well. I ended up getting moved off of it to work, not just on Dune: Part Two, but to investigate other cinematic prospects in the Dune universe, which we are still talking about and which, again, I’m not allowed to say very much about. But it is a very rich world in which to play, and I think it is ripe with opportunities for storytelling in every direction. They’re well down the road, but I honestly don’t know the details of the timing.”

Dune‘s prequel television series shows events from the perspective of the Bene Gesserit. Members of this all-female order possess special abilities obtained through complete mastery of body and the mind. By maintaining a presence in many of the great houses of the Dune universe, the Bene Gesserit manipulate galactic politics, pursuing a generations-long plan involving the planet Arrakis.

“The Bene Gesserit have always been fascinating to me,” Villeneuve previously said of the project. “Focusing a series around that powerful order of women seemed not only relevant and inspiring but a dynamic setting for the television series.”

Dune earned 10 nominations, including one for Best Picture, at this year’s Academy Awards. Villeneuve is focusing now on crafting its sequel. Rumor has it that Florence Pugh is up for the role of Princess Irulan Corrino, the emperor’s eldest daughter. To that, Villeneuve only said, “There’s been rumors.”

There are also reports that Austin Butler will join the cast as Feyd-Rautha, favored son of Baron Harkonnen, who orchestrated House Atreides’ demise. Dune Part II begins filming in July for theatrical release on October 20, 2023. A third Dune film, which would adapt Frank Herbert’s first sequel, Dune Messiah, is also possible.


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