Dune Prequel Casts Emily Watson and Shirley Henderson for HBO Max Series

It's time to head back to Arrakis, because HBO Max's Dune prequel series is officially getting off the ground. On Tuesday, reports revealed that Emily Watson and Shirley Henderson have been cast in the lead roles of Dune: The Sisterhood. Originally ordered to series in 2019, the series will be set 10,000 years before the events of Dune, and will be based on Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's spinoff novel Sisterhood of Dune. The series will follow the Harkonnen Sisters, Valya (Watson) and Tula (Henderson) as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind, and establish the fabled sect known as the Bene Gesserit.

Watson is a two-time Oscar nominee for her work on Breaking the Waves and Hilary and Jackie, and an Emmy nominee for her work on Chernobyl. Her filmography also includes The Book Thief, Gosford Park, and Red Dragon. Henderson, meanwhile, is best known for portraying Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter films, as well as 24 Hour Party People and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. She recently voiced Babu Frik in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

What is Dune: The Sisterhood about?

Dune: The Sisterhood has been previously described as being told through the eyes of a mysterious order of women known as the Bene Gesserit. Given extraordinary abilities by their mastery of the body and the mind, the Bene Gesserit expertly weave 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. It will serve as a prequel to the films. The series will be written by returning franchise writer Jon Spaihts, with Diane Ademu-John as showrunner, and Johan Renck as the director of the first two episodes.

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"Oh, that is carrying on and I'm not allowed to talk about it very much," Spaihts previously said during an interview with The Playlist. "But that effort is alive and well. I ended up getting moved off of it to work, not just on Dune: Part Two, but to investigate other cinematic prospects in the Dune universe, which we are still talking about and which, again, I'm not allowed to say very much about. But it is a very rich world in which to play, and I think it is ripe with opportunities for storytelling in every direction. They're well down the road, but I honestly don't know the details of the timing."