Chernobyl Director Will Helm Episodes Of The HBO Max Dune Prequel Series

Original "Dune" author Frank Herbert's vision of a vast and sprawling fantasy world on planets utterly unlike our own is continuing to be fully realized in live-action. Barely a month after first hearing the news that the script for "Dune: Part 2" has been completed, we're now set for an even greater expansion into the lore and world-building featured throughout director Denis Villeneuve's spectacular adaptation of "Dune" last year. Remember Rebecca Ferguson's Lady Jessica Atreides, part of a mystical order of space-witches with grand plans for dictating the course of humanity's future? That order is known as the Bene Gesserit and, despite the film's overt faithfulness to the events covered in the novel, Villeneuve and writers Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth didn't quite have as much time to really sink their teeth into the utter weirdness of the sect.

We previously knew that an HBO Max series titled "Dune: The Sisterhood" had been put into early stages of production even before the film was released. Centered entirely on the Bene Gesserit order, we now know the director who'll be in charge of helming at least the first 2 episodes of the prequel series as Warner Bros. prepares to double down on all things "Dune." According to Variety, Johan Renck has been brought on board as director for the early episodes of the series. Known for his superb, Emmy-winning work on "Chernobyl" along with previous directing jobs on shows such as "Vikings," "Bloodline," "Breaking Bad," "The Walking Dead," "Halt and Catch Fire," and more. Renck will serve as an executive producer, as well, with Diane Ademu-John previously announced to have joined as showrunner, writer, and executive producer.

Bene Gesserit Dune spin-off greenlit

"Dune: The Sisterhood" hasn't enjoyed the smoothest pre-production process, having already parted ways with previous showrunner (and credited "Dune" co-writer) Jon Spaights due to Legendary TV's apparent unhappiness over the early returns. Both Spaights and Villeneuve will instead focus their energies on the ambitious sequel to the (somewhat surprisingly) hit blockbuster. The prequel series, meanwhile, has been described as being "set 10,000 years prior to the events of 'Dune' and follows the Harkonnen Sisters as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind, and establish the fabled sect known as the Bene Gesserit." The Harkonnens, of course, were the chief antagonist family featured in "Dune," responsible for the decimation of the Atreides family. All those years before the events taking place on the desert world of Arrakis, however, featured a wildly different status quo.

The Bene Gesserit were shown to have used various duplicitous means to prepare the way for a "chosen one" figure who would eventually emerge — namely, Timothée Chalamet's Paul Atreides. The prequel series appears set to dive headfirst into all the various details and complicated motivations involved in bringing that sisterhood into being and reshaping the universe as they deemed fit. Basically, newcomers can expect plenty of carefully constructed "prophecies," intense ritualistic acts, and likely even some more examples of the fabled Gom Jabbar test.

The "Dune: The Sisterhood" series continues to round into form, though no release date has yet been announced at such an early juncture. Expect it to be made available for streaming on HBO Max.