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Dune Prequel Series at HBO Max Adds Emily Watson to 'Sisterhood'

Emily Watson Dune Prequel

Two-time Oscar nominee Emily Watson is among the first to be cast in HBO Max’s Dune prequel series.

Ordered to series way, way back in June 2019 — before HBO Max even had a name! — Dune: The Sisterhood, a female-led spinoff of the film franchise, is intended to act as a companion series to the new Dune films as it portrays the events of the Frank Herbert novels through the eyes of the Bene Gesserit, a mysterious order of women.

Dune: Part One premiered in theaters last October, while Dune: Part Two is set to be released on Nov. 17, 2023.

“The Bene Gesserit have always been fascinating to me,” Denis Villeneuve, director of the new Dune films and an EP on the prequel series, said back in 2019. “Focusing a series around that powerful order of women seemed not only relevant and inspiring, but a dynamic setting for the television series.”

As reported by our sister site Variety, Watson (whose previous TV credits include Chernobyl and The Third Day) will play Valya Harkonnen, while Shirley Henderson (Happy Valley, Harry Potter’s Moaning Myrtle) will play Tula Harkonnen — two sisters who “have risen to power in the Sisterhood, a secret organization of women who will go on to become the Bene Gesserit.”