Dune: The Sisterhood has its first two cast members. Emily Watson and Shirley Henderson have joined the cast of the HBO Max science fiction prequel. Variety reports that Watson and Henderson will play lead roles in the Legendary Television series, set in the universe of the classic Dune novels by the late Frank Herbert. Set 10,000 years before the events of Dune, Dune: The Sisterhood will center around the Bene Gesserit, the secretive, powerful sect which counts Paul Atreides’ mother, Lady Jessica (played in 2021’s Dune by Rebecca Ferguson), among its members.
Watson and Henderson will play Valya and Tula Harkonnen, presumably, distant ancestors of the decadent House Harkonnen who scheme against the nobler House Atreides in Dune. The show will follow their journey as they rise to power in an organization known as the Sisterhood, and set in motion the events that will transform it into the Bene Gesserit, allowing them to shape the future of humanity.
English actor Watson is a two-time Oscar nominee, for her 1996 film debut in Breaking the Waves and again in 1998 for Hilary and Jackie. She appeared this year in the A24 drama God’s Creatures, and can be seen next in the Brian Epstein biopic Midas Man. Scottish actor Henderson has appeared in Trainspotting, the Bridget Jones films, and in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as the ghostly Moaning Myrtle. She is also the voice of fan-favorite Star Wars character Babu Frik, who first appeared in The Rise of Skywalker and will reappear in the upcoming third season of The Mandalorian.
Diane Ademu-John is the creator, co-showrunner, and executive producer on the series. Alison Schapker serves as co-showrunner and executive producer. Johan Renck will direct the first two episodes and will executive produce, as well. Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts, Scott Z. Burns, Matthew King, John Cameron and Cait Collins will executive produce with Brian Herbert, the son of Frank Herbert, as well as Herbert’s grandchildren Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert, for the Frank Herbert estate. Science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson, who co-authored a series of Dune novels with Brian Herbert, will co-produce. Villeneuve directed last year’s acclaimed adaptation of Dune, which was also produced by Legendary; Dune: Part Two, adapting the second half of the novel, is now in production.
Stay tuned to Collider for further updates on Dune: The Sisterhood.