Hungary has been the unofficial home of the Dune franchise ever since Denis Villeneuve began shooting his original film there in 2019. Now, HBO Max’s upcoming spinoff series is booking its own flight to the heart of Europe. According to Deadline, Dune: The Sisterhood will start filming in Budapest sometime in November.
The prequel’s start of production has been a long time coming. Warner Bros. and Legendary Television began developing the series in 2019, a full two years before Dune finally hit theaters. Originally, Dune co-writer Jon Spaihts was hired to be the showrunner for the project with Villeneuve directing the pilot episode. However, they both departed the series to concentrate on Dune: Part Two, which also began shooting in Budapest in July. Showrunning duties are now split between Diane Ademu-John and Alison Schapker. Emmy winner Johan Renck (Chernobyl) signed on to direct the pilot back in April.
Dune: The Sisterhood takes place 10,000 years before Villeneuve’s film and will explore the origins of the Bene Gesserit. In his first Dune novel, author Frank Herbert introduced the group as an ancient sect whose members train their minds and bodies to develop superhuman awareness and guide humanity on a path of their own making. Their backstory was subsequently fleshed out in a series of prequel novels written by Herbert’s son, Brian Herbert, and co-author Kevin J. Anderson. One of these books, 2012’s Sisterhood of Dune, reportedly serves as the TV show’s main source of inspiration.
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Last week, Emily Watson and Shirley Henderson joined the series’ cast as Valya and Tula Harkonnen, two of the Bene Gesserit’s earliest members. Indira Varma will also appear in the show as Empress Natalya. More casting announcements will likely be made in the coming weeks as the start date gets closer. Ademu-John, Schapker, and Renck are executing producing The Sisterhood with Villeneuve, Spaihts, Brian Herbert, Scott Z. Burns, Matthew King, John Cameron, and Cait Collins. Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert will executive produce for the Frank Herbert estate, with Anderson serving as a co-producer.
HBO Max hasn’t announced an air date for Dune: The Sisterhood. But if filming starts in the next few weeks, the series’ debut could end up coinciding with the release of Dune: Part Two on November 3, 2023.
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Recommended Reading: Sisterhood of Dune
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