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Dune going beyond big screen, coming to television with Dune: The Sisterhood

By Brian Silliman
Dune (1984)

The world of Dune isn't just planning to conquer movie theaters — larger plans are afoot, and some of those plans include streaming television.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a television spin-off called Dune: The Sisterhood has been pushed straight to series for the yet-to-be-named streaming service from WarnerMedia. The series will be based on Frank Herbert's novel, and it will have a pilot directed by Denis Villeneuve and co-written by Villeneuve and Jon Spaihts. Villeneuve is also the director of the new two-entry Dune film adaptation, and Spaihts is one of the screenwriters there as well. The two will executive-produce the series alongside Herbert estate members Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, and Kim Herbert; and Kevin J. Anderson will co-produce.

The series will take place in the same universe as the new film series and focus on an order of women called the Bene Gesserit. This mysterious group has certain powers of both mind and body, and though the first Dune novel (and presumably the film adaptations) feature them, the series will likely delve into their lore, tactics, and intrigue in much greater detail.

Villeneuve was quoted by THR as saying, "The Bene Gesserit have always been fascinating to me. Focusing a series around that powerful order of women seemed not only relevant and inspiring but a dynamic setting for the television series."

There are over 20 books in the Dune series (six written by Frank Herbert, with Brian Herbert and Anderson writing the rest), so this show (and the new duo of films) is potentially just the sandy tip of the Dune-berg when it comes to potential content.

Production on the Dune film (at least the first one) began this past March, and it has a cast that includes Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, and David Dastmalchian. Ferguson and Rampling's characters have direct ties to the Bene Gesserit, so an appearance from one or both of them (or perhaps just a cameo) in the new streaming series might make sense.

The first film is scheduled to premiere Nov. 20, 2020, but there is no date announced for the streaming show yet. In any case, fans of Dune everywhere should be excited — we're not just getting films. Aside from an already announced open-world video game, there will be a whole ton of Bene Gesserit ready to stream as well. We're getting a linked-together, multi-platform experience. The spice will flow.