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Dune prophecy 8

‘Dune: Prophecy’: Everything We Know About the Female-Led Prequel Series

If you’ve been wondering about the origins of Bene Gesserit, then Max’s highly anticipated and upcoming Dune: Prophecy TV series might finally offer some answers. The enigmatic group’s immense power was teased in Denis Villeneuve’s first two Dune films, but until now, not much has been revealed about the powerful social, religious, and political force. Officially confirmed by Warner Bros. Discovery on Wednesday, the six-episode Dune prequel series will take us back 10,000 years into the past, exploring the origins of the legendary sisterhood of Bene Gesserit, offering answers to lingering questions about their rise to power and the true purpose behind their mysterious ways.

Dune Prequel Production Update

For fans of the Frank Herbert sci-fi epic, Dune: Prophecy has been a long time coming. The series was originally greenlit in 2019 under the title Dune: The Sisterhood, however it has undergone a few twists and turns in recent times. Thankfully, Max is finally spilling the beans on the new series, unveiling some juicy details about the spin-off, including a brief teaser and a Spring release window for Australia.

So, what can fans expect? Will we see the origins of the iconic Bene Gesserit powers? Who are the central characters, and what challenges will they face? And perhaps most intriguingly, will actors like Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, or Zendaya reprise their roles from the films for any surprise cameos? Here’s everything we know so far about Max’s upcoming Dune: Prophecy TV series.

First Look at 'Dune: Prophecy' prequel series | Image: Max
First Look at ‘Dune: Prophecy’ prequel series | Image: Max

Dune: Prophecy Release Date Predictions

At the time of writing, Warner Bros. is yet to confirm an official Australian release date for Dune: Prophecy, however, initial reports suggest that the series will start streaming on BINGE sometime later this spring. The six-episode first season is co-produced by Max and Legendary Television, with Legendary also producing the film franchise. Filming for the first season of Dune: Prophecy kicked off in Budapest and Jordan in November 2022 and concluded sometime in December 2023.

Rebecca Ferguson in 'Dune' (2019) | Image: Warner Bros.
Rebecca Ferguson in ‘Dune’ (2019) | Image: Warner Bros.

Dune: Prophecy Cast

In a move similar to the recent Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings prequels, the new Dune series will forge its own path, introducing us to a host of new faces and characters. Warner Bros. Discovery confirmed some of the cast members for the series, which will be led by Emily Watson and Olivia Williams as the two formidable Harkonnen sisters. They’re joined by a large supporting cast that includes Kingsman favourite Mark Strong and Aussie Vikings star Travis Fimmel. Additionally, Jodhi May, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, Chloe Lea, Jade Anouka, Faoileann Cunningham, Aoife Hinds, Chris Mason, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Charithra Chandran, Jessica Barden, Emma Canning, and Yerin Ha will be on hand. 

Rounding out the cast are Camilla Beeput, Sarah Lam, Flora Montgomery, Tessa Bonham Jones, Laura Howard, Josh Heuston, Edward Davis, Tabu, and Jihae. Here’s a full ‘Dune: Prophecy‘ cast list:

  • Emily Watson as Valya Harkonnen
  • Olivia Williams as Tula Harkonnen
  • Jodhi May 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
  • Josh Heuston as Constantine Corrino
  • Camilla Beeput as Reverend Mother Dorotea
  • Sarah Lam as Hagal Truthsayer
  • Flora Montgomery as Truthsayer Vera
  • Tessa Bonham Jones as Lady Shannon
  • Laura Howard as Orla Richese
  • Edward Davis as Harrow Harkonnen
  • Tabu as Sister Francesca
  • Jihae as Reverend Mother Kasha
Dune prophecy plot
First Look at ‘Dune: Prophecy’ prequel series | Image: Max

Dune: Prophecy Plot

Drawing inspiration from the 2012 novel ‘Sisterhood of Dune‘ by Brian Herbert (son of Frank Herbert, who was the creator of the original Dune novels) and Kevin J Anderson, Dune: Prophecy will explore the origins of the Bene Gesserit, the exclusive and powerful sisterhood who undergo extreme physical training and mental conditioning to achieve superhuman abilities. While the Dune films featured the Bene Gesserit as a significant power, Dune: Prophecy promises to delve deeper, revealing their shrouded history, the source of their powers, and the events that shaped this influential organization.

The six-episode series will be set approximately 10,000 years before the events of Frank Herbert’s Dune novel and Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 film adaptation and explore some of the unanswered questions surrounding the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, to which Paul Atreides’ mother, Lady Jessica (played by Rebecca Ferguson in the films), belongs.

The official logline for Dune: Prophecy reads, “From the expansive universe of ‘Dune,’ created by acclaimed author Frank Herbert, and 10,000 years before the ascension of Paul Atreides, ‘Dune: Prophecy’ follows two Harkonnen sisters as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind, and establish the fabled sect that will become known as the Bene Gesserit.”

“The Bene Gesserit have always been fascinating to me,” director of the first two Dune films Dennis Villeneuve said about the show. “Focusing a series around that powerful order of women seemed not only relevant and inspiring but a dynamic setting for the television series.”

Alison Schapker serves as the showrunner and an executive producer for ‘Dune: Prophecy.‘ Diane Ademu-John, who co-developed the series, is also an executive producer despite departing early on. Anna Foerster directed and served as an executive producer for multiple episodes, including the pilot.

Does Dune: Prophecy Have a Trailer?

Yes, we did get a brief official teaser for Dune: Prophecy‘and it offers a peak at the series’ expansive plot, teasing how the two Harkonnen sisters address a threat to humanity while setting up the sisterhood that will eventually become the Bene Gesserit. The trailer offers a female-led perspective on life before the events depicted in the original Dune novels and opens with a dialogue uttered by the narrator, saying, “10,000 years before the birth of Paul Atreides, before the universe will know us as the Bene Gesserit, we founded a sisterhood.”

The trailer then goes on to explain the main purpose of the sisterhood, assigned to the Great Houses, which was to “sift truth from lies.” However, as the narrator says in the trailer, “Power comes with a price.” Fans of the Dune universe will know that the Bene Gesserit came to power through their unique ability as “truthsayers,” essentially becoming an integral resource for the Great Houses in galactic affairs. This influence fueled their ambitions, leading them to a long-term goal: placing a member of their own order on the Imperial throne. A Harkonnen, no less.

First Look at 'Dune: Prophecy' prequel series | Image: Max
First Look at ‘Dune: Prophecy’ prequel series | Image: Max

The Dune: Prophecy trailer also shows the sisterhood’s scheme to place a member of their own, Ynez (Sarah-Sofie Boussnina), on the throne through marriage into the royal family. “Nothing is more important,” Valya tells her sisters. “And this is the marriage that makes it possible. This is us playing god.”

While most might remember the cruel machinations of House Harkonnen, they don’t rule Dune alone. The opulent House Corrino sits on the imperial throne, with the ruthless Emperor Javicco Corrino (Mark Strong) leading, ably supported by his cunning wife, Empress Natalya (Jodhi May). Then there’s House Atreides, the noble house of the hero Paul. In the upcoming adaptation, Chris Mason plays Kieran Atreides, who is described as “a Swordmaster to a Great House whose ambition to live up to his family name is disrupted when he forms an unexpected connection to a member of the royal family.”

Where to Watch Dune: Prophecy?

All six episodes for the epic prequel series ‘Dune: Prophecy‘ will be arriving on BINGE in Australia sometime this spring.

First Look at 'Dune: Prophecy' prequel series | Image: Max
First Look at ‘Dune: Prophecy’ prequel series | Image: Max