Dune: The Sisterhood HBO Max series adds Mark Strong and two more to the cast

Mark Strong (1917), Jade Anouka (His Dark Materials), and Chris Mason (Broadchurch) have been added to the cast of the the HBO Max series Dune: The Sisterhood (which is a prequel to the Dune feature films), joining previously announced cast members Emily Watson (Punch Drunk Love), Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Indira Varma (Obi-Wan), Shalom Brune-Franklin (The Tourist), Sarah-Sofie Boussnina (The Colony), Faoileann Cunningham (The Northman), Aoife Hinds (Normal People), Chloe Lea (Foundation), and Travis Fimmel (Raised by Wolves).

Just last week, it was announced that series creator Diane Ademu-John, who previously worked on The Haunting of Bly ManorEmpireThe Originals, The Vampire Diaries, Medium, and Crossing Jordan, had stepped down as co-showrunner on Dune: The Sisterhood. Alison Schapker is now the sole showrunner on the show. Schapker’s previous credits include Westworld, Altered Carbon, Scandal, The Flash, Almost Human, Fringe, Brothers & Sisters, Lost, Alias, and Charmed.

This show will be 

told through the eyes of a mysterious order of women known as the Bene Gesserit. Given extraordinary abilities by their mastery of the body and the mind, the Bene Gesserit expertly weave through the feudal politics and intrigue of The Imperium, pursuing plans of their own that will ultimately lead them to the enigmatic planet Arrakis, known to its inhabitants as Dune. 

Dune: The Sisterhood is set

10,000 years prior to the events of Dune and follows the Harkonnen Sisters as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind, and establish the fabled sect known as the Bene Gesserit.

Watson and Henderson are playing Valya Harkonnen and Tula Harkonnen. “Together, these women have risen to power in the Sisterhood, a secret organization of women who will ascend to become the Bene Gesserit.” Varma is taking on the role of Empress Natalya, described as “a formidable royal who united thousands of worlds in her marriage to Emperor Corrino”. 

Brune-Franklin will be playing Mikaela, “a strong-willed Fremen woman who serves the royal family while longing for a home planet she’s never known.” Boussnina’s character is Princess Ynez, “an independent young princess dealing with the pressures of her responsibility as heir to the Golden Lion Throne.” Cunningham will be taking on the role of Sister Jen, “a fierce, unpredictable acolyte in training at the Sisterhood School who rarely reveals her emotional core.” Hinds is Sister Emeline, “a zealous acolyte descended from a long line of martyrs, who carries fervent religion to her training at the Sisterhood.” Lea will portray Lila, “the youngest acolyte at the Sisterhood School with a deep empathy beyond her years.” And Fimmel’s character is Desmond Hart, “a charismatic soldier with an enigmatic past who seeks to gain the Emperor’s trust at the expense of the Sisterhood.”

Deadline reports that Mark Strong will be playing Emperor Javicco Corrino, “a man from a great line of war-time Emperors, who is called upon to govern the Imperium and manage a fragile peace.” Jade Anouka’s character is Sister Theodosia, “a talented and ambitious acolyte at the Sisterhood who harbors a dangerous secret about her past.” And Chris Mason will play Keiran Atreides, “a Swordmaster to a Great House whose ambition to live up to his family name is disrupted when he forms an unexpected connection to a member of the royal family.”

Johan Renck, who executive produced and directed all five episodes of the HBO limited series Chernobyl (and won two Emmys for his work on that show) is directing the first two episodes of Dune: The SisterhoodDune director Denis Villeneuve had been planning to direct the pilot episode of this show himself, but a scheduling conflict with Dune: Part Two has made that impossible. Dune: The Sisterhood is filming in Budapest, Hungary at the same time Dune: Part Two (which is set to reach theatres on November 3, 2023) is also filming there.

Villeneuve and Ademu-John remain on board Dune: The Sisterhood as executive producers. An HBO Max and Legendary Television co-production, the show is also being executive produced by Schapker, Scott Z. Burns, Mark Friedman, Matthew King, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Kim Herbert, and Jon Spaihts, who has written the Dune films with Villeneuve and was supposed to be the Sisterhood showrunner at one time. Kevin J. Anderson co-produces.

What do you think of Mark Strong, Jade Anouka, and Chris Mason joining the cast of Dune: The Sisterhood? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Dune Bene Gesserit

Source: Deadline, Variety

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.