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HBO Max’s Dune spinoff series shuts down, loses its director and star

Dune: the sisterhood faces many bumps on its way to TV screens. HBO Max’s spin-off prequel series – originally designed by Dune film director Denis Villeneuve as a prequel to his 2021 film – according to a production hiatus Deadline report. Villeneuve announced the series in 2019, when he planned to direct the pilot, but left the series in 2022 to focus on shooting the second half of his Dune movie project. He was replaced by Chernobylby Johan Renck. Now Renck has also left the project, along with Shirley Henderson, a prolific actor best known to the fandom as Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter films and diminutive Anzellan mechanic Babu Frik in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. (She was great in Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s cutat.)

Dune: the sisterhood is intended to fill in the backstory of the Bene Gesserit, the arcane one Dune order manipulating fate and genetics in Frank Herbert’s Dune books. from Villeneuve Dune only gives viewers a glimpse into their workings, through Jessica Atreides (Rebecca Ferguson), the mother of protagonist Paul Atreides, and their interactions with a powerful figure called the Reverend Mother, played by Charlotte Rampling. The cast of the series consists of Emily Watson, Mark Strong and Indira Varma.

An HBO Max spokesperson told Deadline that Renck is “moving on to pursue other projects,” and that the show, which was already in production, is on hold while the production company searches for another director, which could take months. . It’s another setback for a show that’s already had a few big ones. Earlier, Dune co-writer Jon Spaihts was assigned as showrunner on the series, but he stepped down in 2019 to focus on writing the series. Dune movie sequel. Series creator Diane Ademu-John, who wrote the pilot script, retired from the show in 2022. All of these shifts now come Warner Bros. undergoing a significant wave of cost cutting and reorganization under new CEO David Zaslav, who heads HBO Max. to cancel or drop expensive series such as West worldand download many of those series to other streaming services.

Polygon has reached out to HBO Max for comment and will update when the company responds.