Damn, ‘Dune: Prophecy’ Looks Just as Good as the Movies

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The world of Dune is remarkably vast, spanning planetary systems and parsecs. It’s so enormous, in fact, that one movie couldn’t contain even half of book one of the source material. With Dune: Part Two exceeding audience expectations for the sci-fi sequel, the universe is expanding even further: Dune is officially entering the prequel game. Titled Dune: Prophecy, the upcoming Max series is set ten thousand years before the events of Dune. Sorry, there’s no Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) or Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler).

Now, mere months after Dune: Part Two's theatrical release, we have the first teaser for Dune: Prophecy. In the footage, we glimpse the creation of the Bene Gesserit. Seen prominently in Dune through Paul’s mother, Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), the Bene Gesserit act as matriarchs to the galaxy, warping history with political marriages and superhuman abilities. The preview—which looks every bit as impressive as director Denis Villeneuve's two Dune films—seemingly teases multiple worlds for the next Dune adventure. We also see Emily Watson's Valya Harkonnen, who looks like a downright force to be reckoned with. You can watch the teaser below.

While you prepare to rewatch Dune: Part Twowhich hits Max on May 21—here’s everything we know about Dune: Prophecy so far.

Dune: The Sisterhood Is Now Dune: Prophecy

In June 2019, before the first Dune film premiered to wide acclaim, Warner Media gave a straight-to-series order for Dune: The Sisterhood. Set in the universe of Frank Herbert’s Dune, the prequel pitched a focus on the Bene Gesserit’s secretive matriarchal order of nuns, spies, scientists, and theologians, whose powers include mind control, hyperawareness, and collective memory, among other extraordinary talents.

What does that mean, exactly? In the books, the ancient order of women have mastered their minds and bodies through mental conditioning to gain superhuman powers. They use knowledge and power to help guide humanity according to their own plan for the future. And while the Sisterhood’s history—and purpose—isn’t well known, members often work as advisors, wives, or concubines to leaders of the Great Houses, crafting alliances that help drive events toward their own somewhat shadowy goals. The series will adapt Herbert’s spin-off novel Sisterhood of Dune, which features the destined Valya Harkonnen as one of the organization’s first Reverend Mothers. Meanwhile, her sister, Tula Harkonnen, is fated to one day murder her Atreides groom on their wedding night. (Yikes!)

“The Bene Gesserit have always been fascinating to me,” Villeneuve said in an interview with Variety. “Focusing a series around that powerful order of women seemed not only relevant and inspiring but a dynamic setting for the television series.”

dune part two
Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) became the new Reverend Mother for the Fremen in Dune: Part Two. Warner Bros.

Who Stars in Dune: Prophecy?

Emily Watson (Chernobyl) and Olivia Williams (The Crown) will play Valya and Tula, respectively. According to the show’s official description, they are the creators of the Bene Gesserit. The two will be joined by Jodhi May (The Witcher) as Empress Natalya, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina (Knightfall) as Princess Ynez, Shalom Brune-Franklin (Baby Reindeer) as the Fremen Mikaela, Mark Strong (The Penguin) as Emperor Javicco Corrino, and legendary Indian actress Tabu as Sister Francesca.

Back in October 2021, when Dune debuted, it was announced that Villeneuve was attached to direct the pilot and Jon Spaihts, his cowriter on the Dune script, was attached to write. They were also set to executive-produce the series, along with the late Frank Herbert’s children, Brian Herbert and Kim Herbert. But as the show's development has soldiered on, there have been a number of leadership shake-ups. In an interview, Spaihts kept mostly mum about the project but revealed that he’s no longer attached.

“That is carrying on and I’m not allowed to talk about it very much. But that effort is alive and well,” he confirmed. “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.”

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Villeneuve is no longer set to direct Dune: Prophecy. Neither is his original replacement, Johan Renck (Chernobyl), nor Spaihts’s replacement, Diane Ademu-John, who most recently worked as an executive producer and writer on Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor. Allison Schapker, a veteran producer with experience on Fringe, Lost, and Altered Carbon, came aboard soon after as the sole showrunner. Not long after, Anna Foerster (Westworld) joined to direct.

When Will Dune: Prophecy Premiere?

Aside from the teaser's cryptic promise of "this fall," mum’s the word on Dune: Prophecy's exact release date. Here’s the good news: The series is part of Legendary Entertainment’s “larger plan for Dune, which also includes video games, digital-content packages, and comic-book series,” per The Hollywood Reporter. The Duneiverse is growing, and we’re in for a bright future.

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