Imperial captain

Imperial captain (Indira Varma) in Lucasfilm's 'Obi-Wan Kenobi,' exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

With the success of ‘Dune’ last year, director Denis Villeneuve is already at work on the follow-up film, ‘Dune: Part Two’, which will essentially adapt the other half of Frank Herbert’s sprawling science fiction tome.

Yet even before the first movie was out, plans were being put in place for a TV spin-off called ‘Dune: The Sisterhood’, which as the title (though it’s apparently a working title) suggests, will feature the mysterious, mystical and powerful group who manipulate political power and bloodlines from behind the scenes.

The show is moving forward with Diane Ademu-John (a veteran of shows such as ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ and ‘Empire’) in charge. She took over for ‘Dune’ movie co-writer Jon Spaihts, who had been set to oversee the show, but stepped back to focus on scripting the big screen sequel with Villeneuve.

And she has been busy adding actors to the series, with Emily Watson, Shirley Henderson and now ‘Game Of Thrones’/’Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Indira Varma the latest name on the list.

Set 10,000 years before the ascension of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet in the movies), the series will follow the Harkonnen Sisters as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind, and establish the fabled sect known as the Bene Gesserit (you might recall that Rebecca Ferguson was a member in the movie). The drama is adapted from the novel ‘Sisterhood of Dune’ by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

Siân Phillips as Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam in director David Lynch's 'Dune' (1984).

Siân Phillips as Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam in director David Lynch's 'Dune' (1984).

Watson and Henderson are playing Valya Harkonnen and Tula Harkonnen, the formidable Harkonnen Sisters, who have risen to power in the Sisterhood. Though the Harkonnens are typically villains in the stories, commitments to the Bene Gesserit tend to overrule house loyalties.

Varma has the role of Empress Natalya, whom Deadline has heard is “a formidable royal who united thousands of worlds in her marriage to Emperor Corrino.”

Varma next stars in the upcoming Apple TV+ anthology series ‘Extrapolations’, which also features Ed Norton and Michael Gandolfini. And on the movie front, she has a key role in ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One’, due in theaters on July 14, 2023.

As for ‘Dune: Part Two’, that movie features the returning likes of Chalamet and Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgård, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem and Dave Bautista. New faces for the sequel include Florence Pugh, Austin Butler, Léa Seydoux, Christopher Walken and Charlotte Rampling.

‘Dune: Part Two’ makes planetfall in theaters on November 3rd, 2023, having swooped in to replace the now-delayed ‘Blade’ from Marvel and Disney.

There is no date on the books for ‘Dune: The Sisterhood’ just yet, but it’ll arrive on HBO Max. Perhaps Warner Bros. and Legendary will try to have it ready for just after ‘Dune: Part Two’ is in theaters, but that will depend on filming schedules and post-production workload.

Timothée Chalamet in Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune.'

Timothée Chalamet in Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune.'