Dune: The Sisterhood Loses Lead Actor, Co-Showrunner, And Director In Massive Creative Shakeup

Much like how the original "Dune" novel was seemingly cursed to never make it to the screen, its prequel series may be developing the same notoriety. That's because "Dune: The Sisterhood," the prequel series to Denis Villeneuve's 2021 epic, has lost a significant number of creative talent as it undergoes an alleged overhaul. Deadline exclusively reported that star Shirley Henderson, who was slated to play Tula Harkonnen, has left the project alongside creator and co-showrunner Diane Ademu-John and director Johan Renck.

As of right now, there isn't one precise reason that can be traced to these exits. However, it does appear as if these exits were done separately on each party's accord. In a statement sent to Deadline, HBO Max implied that at least Renck's departure was on amicable terms, conflicting with the trade's sources that imply creative differences forced the director out. This could be the same reasoning behind the departure of Ademu-John, as those same sources say that the decision to make Alison Schapker the sole showrunner was a very last-minute change. Regardless, HBO Max insists that the current production lull was planned in advance of these departures.

"As 'Dune: The Sisterhood' has entered a pre-scheduled hiatus," wrote the streamer, "there are some creative changes being made to the production in an effort to create the best series possible and stay true to the source material."

An unclear future

Whether this hiatus actually was planned or not, "Dune: The Sisterhood" is due for a major production shake-up. As of right now, there are no other confirmed exits relating to the series, but Deadline's sources speculate that more could be on the way. However, this cannot be confirmed nor denied, and it's not entirely clear if the show can withstand this lengthy delay. Regardless, we'll definitely be keeping this burgeoning story on our radar moving forward.

As of right now, "Dune: The Sisterhood" is still on track for an eventual HBO Max release. Based on the novel of the same name by Brian Herbert, the show will take place 10,000 years before the events of 2021's "Dune," and will center around the creation of the mysterious Bene Gesserit. Emily Watson is still set to play Valya Harkonnen, the sister of the aforementioned Tula, as the series' star. Other cast members include Mark Strong, Indira Varma, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, Aoife Hinds, Shalom Brune Franklin, Travis Fimmel, Faoileann Cunningham, Jade Anouka, and Chris Mason. 

Here's to hoping that this series lets fear pass over them and through them.