Dune: The Sisterhood’s Johan Renck and Shirley Henderson exit project

The Dune spin-off TV show, Dune: The Sisterhood is undergoing a behind-the-scenes shift with both a director and actor shift, Deadline reports. 

Johan Renck, executive producer on Chernobyl, who had previously been tapped to direct the first two episodes, has now left. Shirley Henderson, one of the leads for the show, is also leaving. 

Henderson’s role as Tula Harkonnen will now be recast, with a new actress yet to be announced. 

Diane Ademu-John, who had written the script for the pilot, is stepping down as co-showrunner, with Alison Schapker taking over as the sole showrunner. 

In a statement to Deadline, HBO Max confirmed that Henderson and Renck were leaving. Renck’s exit was mutually agreed. 

Deadline’s sources say that these changes in the run up to filming will put pressure on Schapker to make on the fly changes to the script, and that Renck’s auteur approach didn’t conform to the streamer’s vision with the streamer. 

It’s unclear why Henderson left the project, and if it’s related to Renck’s exit or separate creative differences. 

Dune: The Sisterhood is based on Frank Herbert’s classic novel, and is set 10,000 years before Paul Atreides’ rise in the Dune novel. It follows the Harkonnen Sisters as they battle forces that threaten humanity, and establish the secretive sect known as the Bene Gesserit. 

Other characters include Emily Watson as Valya Harkonnen; Indira Varma as Empress Natalya; Sarah-Sofie Boussnina as Princess Ynez; Shalom Brune Franklin as Mikaela; Faoileann Cunningham as Sister Jen; Aoife Hinds as Sister Emeline; Chloe Lea as Lila; Travis Fimmel as Desmond Hart; Mark Strong as Emperor Javicco Corrino; Jade Anouka as Sister Theodosia; Chris Mason as Keiran Atreides.

Denis Villeneuve, director of the 2021 Dune and its upcoming sequel, was originally going to direct the first episode, though stepped down to focus on the film. He remains an executive producer. 

Dune: Part Two will be released in cinemas on November 3, 2023. 

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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