As everyone is poring over the new Dune trailer and first 10 minutes of footage from the upcoming movie, another major announcement was made involving the Dune universe.
Dune: The Sisterhood has landed a new showrunner (including writing and executive producing duties) with Diane Ademu-John who is replacing Jon Spaihts. Spaihts stepped down in November of 2019 to head up the second upcoming Dune movie with Denis Villeneuve.
The new series is set up as a “spinoff” to establish the backstory for the Dune universe through the eyes of a mysterious order of women known as the Bene Gesserit. With Dune’s religious foundation so deep and elaborate, it’s interesting to see director Villeneuve’s vision play out by spotlighting this one sect.
Gizmodo wrote a fantastic piece last year detailing the different religions in Dune, including the Bene Gesserit. “They are not a religious organization, but they use religion to achieve their own ends. Much of their knowledge is contained in the Azhar Book, a manual that includes information on the most ancient beliefs and is said to predate the Orange Catholic Bible. But they are largely agnostic and see gods as a creation of man.”
The Bene Gesserit also have a peculiar breeding program where they can not only choose when they get pregnant, but also the gender of the baby. This allowed them to plan out the birth of a male “messiah” named Kwisatz Haderach who would lead the universe.
“It’s unlikely the Bene Gesserit actually believed the Kwisatz Haderach was a Messiah,” the Gizmodo article states. “But it doesn’t matter even if they did. The point wasn’t that they wanted to create their own god, it’s that they wanted to create (and control) a god for everyone else.”
Looper also did their homework with this write-up from October that goes into even greater detail about the Bene Gesserit’s role in the books and potentially in the film(s).
After the wild success of shows with similar themes, such as The Handmaid’s Tale and, to a lesser extent, Game of Thrones, I imagine that this prequel series will be a hit. By 2023, everyone will have Dune fever and we’ll see “The Spice Must Flow” or “Fear is the Mind-Killer” stickers in the windows of SUVs everywhere.
But the series seems to be in good hands. Diane Ademu-John is best known as the writer and director of the Netflix series The Haunting of Bly Manor as well as her work on Empire, Crossing Jordan, and The Vampire Diaries.
While there is no set release window for Dune: The Sisterhood just yet, we’ll keep our eyes peeled and let you know when we find out.