Dune Prequel Series Adds Emma Watson and Shirley Henderson

Article by Kieran Burt.

HBO’s Dune prequel series has added Emma Watson and Shirley Henderson to lead roles, Variety reports.

Set thousands of years before the first Dune, the series will explore the origins of the Bene Gesserit. Officially titled Dune: The Sisterhood, it will be based on the prequel novel Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. An official description says the series “follows the Harkonnen Sisters as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind, and establish the fabled sect known as the Bene Gesserit” 

Both actresses will play Harkonnens, the antagonists of the first Dune novel. 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.”

Watson and Henderson are perhaps best known for their work in the Harry Potter franchise. Watson played Hermione throughout all eight films. Henderson appeared in The Chamber of Secrets and The Goblet of Fire as Moaning Myrtle. More recently, Watson has been nominated for a best actress Oscar twice, for her work in Breaking the Waves and Hilary and Jackie. Henderson has also appeared as Jude in the Bridget Jones films, and as Gail in Trainspotting. 

The Bene Gesserit have always been fascinating to me,” Denis Villeneuve, director of the new Dune films and an executive producer on the prequel series, said back in 2019. “Focusing a series around that powerful order of women seemed not only relevant and inspiring, but a dynamic setting for the television series.”

The Dune franchise will comprise a trilogy of films, alongside this spin-off series. It’s not known how many episodes Dune: The Sisterhood will have, nor its expected release date. The first Dune book will be split into two films, with Villeneuve expressing an interest to adapt the second Dune book, titled Dune Messiah, into a film.

Dune: Part Two is set to be released November 17 2022.  

Kieran Burt

My name is Kieran and I am based in the UK. I love writing about all things science fiction and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Marvel. When I’m not writing or watching anything sci-fi related, you can probably find me exploring the open worlds of alternate lands through my Xbox.

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