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Dune: The Sisterhood Loses Key Talent Amid Major Creative Overhaul

"Dune: The Sisterhood" went through some major shakeups behind the scenes, losing two major creative voices on the upcoming HBO Max series. The prequel to 2021's "Dune" takes place 10,000 years before the rise of "Dune" hero Paul Altreides (Timothée Chalamet) to power. 

In front of the cameras for "Dune: The Sisterhood" will be major names like Emily Watson and Travis Fimmel. The prequel is part of an extensive effort to expand author Frank Herbert's science fiction world to multiple mediums. Before the 2021 film, the most significant adaptation had been David Lynch's 1984 adaptation, a movie even the director has admitted he's not proud of, per Esquire

"Dune: The Sisterhood," which is executive produced by "Dune" director Denis Villeneuve, already lost one of its showrunners in November 2022. Deadline exclusively reported then that series creator Diane Ademu-John was stepping back as co-showrunner, leaving Alison Schapker alone in overseeing the project. 

Losing a showrunner is a major blow for any series to endure, and now "Dune: The Sisterhood" has taken two more blows by losing people behind and in front of the camera. The departures have led to a halt in production, according to a new report.

Dune: The Sisterhood lost one of its leads and a director

In another exclusive report released by Deadline, it was announced that director Johan Renck and actress Shirley Henderson left "Dune: The Sisterhood." To make matters worse, Renck was directing the pilot episode of the series, and Henderson played one of the show's leads as Tula Harkonnen.

HBO Max confirmed the departures to Deadline but did not reveal why the pair were leaving, only saying they were going through creative changes to make the best series possible. Citing sources, Deadline's report suggests Renck may have fallen out of favor with the studio by trying to change up the physical look from the "Dune" movie too much. A new director will be brought on board to replace Renck, and that filmmaker will reportedly decide whether to scrap Renck's footage entirely or keep some of it. Meanwhile, Henderson's character will be recast. Her character was one of two Harkonnen Sisters the show is centered around. 

"Dune: The Sisterhood" was given a straight-to-series order all the way back in 2019. Back then, it was supposed to be "Dune" director Denis Villeneuve directing the pilot and "Dune" screenwriter Jon Spaihts as showrunner, but those plans fell through. Spaits left the project in December of that year, per The Hollywood Reporter

"Dune: The Sisterhood" is practically redefining the term "troubled production" at this point, but HBO Max's refusal to give up on the project could also mean there is something worthy buried underneath all this drama.