Skip to main content

Why we’re beyond excited for HBO Max’s Dune: The Sisterhood

What we know about Dune: The Sisterhood on HBO Max (so far)

 We’re one step closer to the Dune prequel, and there’s some serious casting news to share. Emily Watson (Chernobyl, God’s Creatures) and Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter, Stan & Ollie) will be the leading ladies on Dune: The Sisterhood. And, according to Deadline, they’ll be joined by Indira Varma, best known for her work in Game Of ThronesObi-Wan and Carnival Row.

The show, ordered as a series by HBO Max in 2019, takes viewers back 10,000 years prior to the ascension of Paul Atreides, the protagonist of the first two novels in the Dune series written by Frank Herbert in the 1960s.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Watson is slated to take on the role of Valya Harkonnen, while Henderson will portray Tula Harkonnen. The sisters have risen in the ranks of a secret organization of women known as the Dune Sisterhood. The series will follow them as they take on forces threatening to take down humankind.

Watson has received two Oscar nominations for Best Actress. The first came for her role in Breaking the Waves (1996), and the second honored her work in Hilary and Jackie (1998). She received an Emmy nomination for supporting actress in Chernobyl.

Henderson is widely known for her role as Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She also appeared in the Bridget Jones franchise.

For her part, Varma will play Empress Natalya, a character who united worlds when she married Emperor Corrino and who is described as “formidable.” (We have no doubt.)

Of course, they won’t be the only names in the credit. Creator Diane Ademu-John, whose credits include The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020) and Empire (2015) will act as an executive producer, co-showrunner, and executive produce.

Johan Renck, who won a pair of Emmys for his roles as executive producer and director on Chernobyl, has been tapped to direct the premiere episode of Dune: The Sisterhood. It’s unclear when that will air, but we do know Denis Villeneuve, who directed, co-wrote, and produced last year’s Dune flick, will be another executive producer. Other executive producers include Jon Spaihts, Scott Z. Burns, Matthew King, John Cameron, Cait Collins, and author Brian Herbert.

With a cast and crew of this caliber shaping up, we’re more than ready for a night of binge-watching.

The 2021 film adaptation of Dune scored 10 nominations at the 94th Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay. The movie took home the most hardware, winning  Best Sound, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects, and Best Cinematography. A sequel is set for November 2023. For now, we’ll wait on bated breath for more news on the Dune prequel series on HBO Max, which seems to be banking on prequels lately (See: House of Dragon).

BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on and In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
Catch this neo-noir classic before it leaves HBO Max
Chinatown is one of the best movies of the 1970s, and it's set to leave HBO Max at the end of January
Jack Nicholson in Chinatown

The history of movies is littered with iconic lines, but few match the incredible power of "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown." The line is iconic not just for its poetry, but also because its placed at the conclusion of one of the great neo-noir stories ever told. Chinatown's legacy is complex, to put it mildly, but the 1974 film, which was released amidst a revolution in Hollywood, remains an important update to the noir genre that is still influencing moviemaking to this day, and it's one of the great Oscar winners of all time.

Chinatown, which is set to leave HBO Max on January 31, is set in the Los Angeles of the 1930s. Against that backdrop, the film tells the story of Jake Gittes, a private detective who is initially hired by a woman named Evelyn Mulwray to investigate whether her husband is cheating on her. So far, so conventional. What Gittes quickly discovers, though, is that the reality of this investigation is exceedingly slippery. He can't trust anyone, not even his client. He learns that the real Evelyn is someone else entirely, and Evelyn's husband winds up dead. From there, Jake uncovers a conspiracy designed to suck huge swaths of land dry in order to buy them cheaply and meets Noah Cross, Evelyn's father.

Read more
Ranked: The best movies of 2022 (and what we’re most looking forward to in 2023)
The best movies: What we loved in 2022 and what we think we'll really dig in 2023
Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Yang in 'Everything Everywhere All at Once.'

Now that we've said goodbye to 2022 and are venturing into 2023, it feels like the perfect time to look back on the year that was and look ahead to the year to come. 2022 was a year filled with great movies, and 2023 seems guaranteed to bring even more wonderful cinema. Of course, neither of these lists is meant to be comprehensive, but here are some of our favorites and hopeful favorites for the new year.

Without further ado, here are the five best movies from the past year, and five movies to look forward to in 2023.
The best movies of 2022

Read more
Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer has a fresh trailer and we’re excited
The new Oppenheimer trailer is can't-miss
Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer

The anticipation that comes with every Christopher Nolan release is unmatched by almost any other director. The director's next movie, Oppenheimer, is set to hit theaters in July of 2023, but fans are already getting excited about our first look at the trailer, which was attached to the release of Avatar: The Way of Water.

In the trailer, we see Cillian Murphy, a frequent collaborator of Nolan's, take on the title role of J. Robert Oppenheimer alongside a cast that includes Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, and Robert Downey Jr. Nolan can essentially attract any star he wants at this point in his career, and with Oppenheimer, he's assembled one of his starriest casts ever, which also includes Kenneth Branagh, Gary Oldman, Rami Malek, and Casey Affleck.

Read more