Dune: The Sisterhood Update: HBO Max Prequel Loses Director, Henderson

HBO Max & Legendary Television's Dune: The Sisterhood is undergoing some major creative changes, losing a director, one of its leads & more.

If what ends up on our screens turns out to be half as dramatic as what's been going on behind the scenes of HBO Max and Legendary Television's Emily Watson (Chernobyl), Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter) & Indira Varma (Game Of Thrones)-starring Dune: The Sisterhood, Warner Bros. Discovery will have a massive hit on its hands. Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the prequel series is undergoing some pretty extensive changes. First up, director Johan Renck has exited the project after being initially tapped to direct the first two episodes (with a search for a new director underway). In addition, Henderson has also departed the project, with the role of Tula Harkonnen set to be recast.

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

"As Dune: The Sisterhood (wt) has entered a pre-scheduled hiatus, there are some creative changes being made to the production in an effort to create the best series possible and stay true to the source material," an HBO Max spokesperson expressed in a statement released to Deadline Hollywood. "Johan Renck has completed his work on the series and a new director will be brought on; through mutual agreement, Johan is moving on to pursue other projects. Additionally, Shirley Henderson will be exiting the series and will no longer be playing Tula Harkonnen."

Reports are that Renck's and HBO Max's visions for the series differed greatly, with the streamer reportedly not taken with Renck going with a look that was apparently a "departure" from Denis Villeneuve's films. How much, if any, of the footage that gets used will be the decision of the new director. In addition, it's not clear if the current production hiatus is part of its regular schedule or an extended opportunity for scripts to be reworked and a new director & lead to be found. Though the reasoning behind Henderson leaving still isn't clear, DH reports that production delays are impacting actors' other commitments and "may lead to more exits and recastings."

Based on the novel Sisterhood Of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, the prequel series also stars Travis Fimmel (Vikings, Raised by Wolves), Sarah-Sofie Boussnina (The Colony), Shalom Brune-Franklin (The Tourist), Faoileann Cunningham (The Northman), Aoife Hinds (Normal People), Chloe Lea (Foundation), Mark Strong (Tár), Jade Anouka (His Dark Materials), and Chris Mason (Broadchurch).

What We Know About HBO Max's Dune: The Sisterhood

Frank Herbert's Dune portrays a future in which humanity has spread across the galaxy to thousands of worlds, all ruled by the Padishah Emperor, The Imperium. Set 10,000 years before the ascension of Paul Atreides, the prequel series explores this universe through the eyes of a mysterious order of women: the Bene Gesserit. Given extraordinary abilities by their mastery of the body and the mind, the Bene Gesserit expertly weaves through the feudal politics and intrigue of The Imperium, pursuing plans of their own that will ultimately lead them to the enigmatic planet Arrakis — known to its inhabitants as Dune.

Created by writer Diane Ademu-John, the series sees Alison Schapker serving as showrunner. Ademu-John, Schapker, Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts, Scott Z. Burns, Matthew King, John Cameron, Cait Collins, and Brian Herbert executive produce. In addition, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert will executive produce on behalf of the Frank Herbert estate, with Anderson serving as co-producer. HBO Max's Dune: The Sisterhood is co-produced by the streaming service and Legendary Television, the TV arm of Legendary, which is behind the current film franchise.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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