Another week, another Dune prequel TV series casting announcement… actually make that five this time! Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, Shalom Brune Franklin, Faoileann Cunningham, Aoife Hinds, and Chloe Lea are all coming onboard HBO Max’s Dune: The Sisterhood. In the order named, they will be playing a royal princess, Fremen servant of House Corrino, and three acolytes in training at the Sisterhood School.
The five new cast members will join the show’s leads Emily Watson and Shirley Henderson, who are portraying Valya and Tula Harkonnen respectively. In what will be one of Dune: The Sisterhood‘s overarching plots, the Harkonnen sisters are set to play a central role in founding the Bene Gesserit order. Another major role, announced last week, has been filled by Indira Varma playing Empress Natalya—likely the most influential figure in the known universe, at the time of the show.
Sarah-Sofie Boussnina Is Princess Ynez
The Danish actor is known for both for starring in films—including The Colony and The Birdcatcher—and roles in TV series such as HISTORY Channel’s Knightfall and the Scandinavian thriller Black Lake (Svartsjön).
Boussnina’s character, Princess Ynez, is part of the core royal family. She’s apparently successor to Empress Natalya, Indira Varma’s character, though it’s yet to be revealed if they’re related by blood. In any case, Dune: The Sisterhood is certain to feature interactions between these two. In today’s release, Ynez is described as follows:
An independent young princess dealing with the pressures of her responsibility as heir to the Golden Lion Throne.
Shalom Brune-Franklin Is Mikaela
Brune-Franklin was born in England and moved to Australia at age 14. She has eight years of television acting roles and most recently starred in HBO Max’s The Tourist (2022).
Mikaela is a servant of House Corrino, perhaps directly attached to Empress Natalya or Princess Yenez. The fact that, as a Fremen, she has never been to Arrakis, makes an interesting thread to explore further during the TV series.
A strong-willed Fremen woman who serves the royal family while longing for a home planet she’s never known.
Faoileann Cunningham Is Sister Jen
Cunningham is from the United Kingdom. She appeared in Robert Eggers’ film The Northman. Her filmography doesn’t list previous TV roles, however—in addition to Dune: The Sisterhood—she’s involved in Netflix’s The Witcher: Blood Origin, set to stream Christmas 2022.
Sister Jen is first of three characters announced today, that are members of the titular Sisterhood.
A fierce, unpredictable acolyte in training at the Sisterhood School who rarely reveals her emotional core.
Aoife Hinds Is Sister Emeline
Known for various TV acting roles—including Normal People and Anne Boleyn—Hinds also hails from the United Kingdom. Her acting debut was in film however, with The Commuter (2018). She’s also involved in the Hellraiser reboot, that was released in October 2022.
Sister Emeline is one of the more fanatical acolytes at the Sisterhood School.
A zealous acolyte descended from a long line of martyrs, who carries fervent religion to her training at the Sisterhood.
Chloe Lea Is Lila
Lea is the youngest actor to be cast, so far, in Dune: The Sisterhood. She’ll be 17 years old when filming starts. Her recent appearances include the Apple TV+ science fiction series Foundation and BBC’s The Dumping Ground.
The character of Lila is described as follows:
The youngest acolyte at the Sisterhood School with a deep empathy beyond her years.
Dune: The Sisterhood Starts Production in November
In addition to all of the casting news, we’ve received confirmation that the TV series will already begin filming next month in Budapest, Hungary. That’s the same location where both the Dune: Part One and Dune: Part Two movies completed the bulk of their productions. The second location for Dune The Sisterhood, is expected to be Limerick, Ireland. Earlier rumors have been confirmed, although shooting dates have not yet been announced.
The official synopsis for Dune: The Sisterhood reads as follows:
Set 10,000 years before the ascension of Paul Atreides, 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.
The TV series is based on the novel Sisterhood of Dune, written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, however it won’t be a direct adaptation. Many of the characters announced thus far are not present in aforementioned book, nor in the rest of The Schools of Dune trilogy that it’s a part of. Even Empress Natalya and Princess Ynez are original characters. It remains to be seen whether the show will follow the same overarching story-line.
Dune: The Sisterhood is being co-produced by HBO Max and Legendary Television. Diane Ademu-John is the creator and writer of the TV series. She’s also serving as the co-showrunner and executive producer, together with Alison Schapker. Johan Renck is directing the premiere episodes, and is also an executive producer.
Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts, Scott Z. Burns, Matthew King, John Cameron, and Cait Collins are also involved as executive producers. The Frank Herbert estate—owner of the Dune intellectual property—is represented by Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, and Kim Herbert. Kevin J. Anderson is also attached as a co-producer.
The release date of Dune: The Sisterhood has not been announced. It’s noteworthy that the TV series will be in production at the same time as Dune: Part Two, which is currently filming in the deserts of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. The movie is scheduled for its theatrical premiere in November 2023.