The HBO Max prequel series “Dune” is losing its director, star and showrunner
Since the show was announced in 2019, it has undergone many changes in terms of presenters.
HBO Max’s return to Arrakis is a bit of a letdown. The “Dune” prequel series has lost its director and one of its stars, IndieWire has confirmed. This news in no way affects the fall release of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two.
Both Johan Renck, who directed the first two episodes of the series, and Shirley Henderson, who played one of the main roles, left the series after production began in November. Production on the series, which currently has the working title “Dune: The Sisterhood,” has reportedly been suspended until replacements for both are found. A statement from HBO Max attributed the change to “an effort to create the best series possible.”
“As ‘Dune: The Sisterhood’ has gone on a pre-planned hiatus, some creative changes are being made to the production in order to create the best possible series and stay true to the source material,” said a spokesperson for HBO Max. statement. “Johan Renck has finished his work on the series and a new director will be appointed; by mutual agreement, Johan starts to pursue other projects. Additionally, Shirley Henderson is exiting the series and will no longer play Tula Harkonnen.
This isn’t the first major change in the sci-fi program’s creative team; Diane Ademu-John, who wrote the pilot script, stepped down as co-showrunner prior to production, though Alison Schapker remains on board as the show’s sole showrunner and Ademu-John will continue to serve as executive producer. The series was first ordered to series by HBO Max in June 2019, with the first episode directed by Denis Villeneuve, director of 2021’s “Dune” and its upcoming sequel. The French-Canadian filmmaker left the project a few months later, but remains attached as an executive producer. Additionally, Jon Spaihts and Dana Calvo contributed to the series at various points before exiting the project.
“The Sisterhood” is a prequel to Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel “Dune” and takes place 10,000 years before the events of the original 2021 film. It follows the Harkonnen Sisters, a clan fighting forces that threaten the future of humanity, and the creation of the fabled sect known as the Bene Gesserit. Henderson also stars Emily Watson, Indira Varma, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, Shalom Brune Franklin, Faoileann Cunningham, Aoife Hinds, Chloe Lea, Travis Fimmel, Mark Strong, Jade Anouka and Chris Mason.
Meanwhile, Villeneuve’s return to “Dune” goes much more smoothly; The “second part” of his adaptation will hit theaters this November, where Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling and Javier Bardem will be joined by newcomers Florence Pugh. Butler, Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux and Tim Blake Nelson.
Deadline was the first to report on the upheaval of the creative team on the prequel series “Düne”.
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