After dark clouds gathered over the series prequel to “Dune” – “Dune: Sisterhood” (HBO Max), and the project bid farewell to its director Johan Renck and one of the stars, Shirley Henderson, it seemed that the production would be frozen for a long time. However, today the project has gained a new director and new stars.
Olivia Williams (“The Crown”) has just joined the cast as Tula Harkonnen, a role originally played by Henderson. In turn, Indira Varma (Natalya), who also resigned from the engagement, will be replaced by Jodhi May (“The Witcher”).
Anna Foerster (“Lou”) is set to be the new lead director. She will be behind the camera for most of the episodes. However, the exact schedule for the next production period is not known.
Dune prequel in trouble – what was the problem?
The main problem in the pre-production stage was a conflict of visions. As reported by Deadline in March, Johan Renck’s original approach clashed with how the producers of HBO Max envisioned “Dune: The Sisterhood.” Reportedly, they wanted the series to be a smaller-scale replica of Villeneuve’s spectacle, while Renck had a different vision.
A representative of HBO Max, responding to the Deadline portal, tried to convince that nothing had happened. They claimed that Renck had filmed what was in his contract (which was two episodes), and they had mutually agreed to part ways. The production stoppage was always planned. However, Renck’s behavior suggests that there was no agreement with HBO Max. He deleted all posts related to “Dune: The Sisterhood” from Instagram. Additionally, Deadline is not convinced that any footage shot by Renck will be used in the series. This decision was to be made by Renck’s successor.
The project was left entirely in the hands of Alison Schapker, who had to remake the series at the last minute, causing delays. This, in turn, may lead to a situation where actors may not be available due to other commitments. Consequently, further changes in the cast may occur, potentially requiring reshooting certain scenes with new cast members.
What is the series “Dune: The Sisterhood” about?
The Dune prequel is set 10,000 years before the events of Villeneuve’s film. The main characters are the Harkonnen sisters, who, in their fight against forces that threaten the future of mankind, establish the legendary Bene Gesserit order. Shrouded in secrecy, the group holds silent control over the political life of the universe.