News broke that HBO Max’s Dune prequel series has been suspended. The series lost both its director. Johan Renck, as well as one of its stars, Shirley Henderson, and has sent shockwaves through the science fiction community. The show, which was first ordered by HBO Max in June 2019, was set to be directed by Denis Villeneuve. The director of 2021’s Dune and its upcoming sequel. However, with the departure of Renck and Henderson, production on the series, currently under the working title Dune: The Sisterhood, has been put on hold until replacements for both can be found.
Statement From HBO Max Regarding Creative Changes for Dune Prequel Series
According to a statement from HBO Max, the change is due to an effort to create the best series possible and stay true to the source material. The statement also noted that Renick had completed his work on the series and a new director will be brought on through mutual agreement. While Henderson will no longer be playing Tula Harkanin.
This isn’t the first major change to the sci-fi program’s creative team either. Diane Ademu-John, who wrote the pilot script, stepped down as co-showrunner prior to the production, although Alison Shapker remains on deck as the show’s sole showrunner, and Ademu-John will still executive produce.
The Setback For HBO’s Return to Arakis
Renck and Henderson leaving the Dune series is a setback for HBO Max’s return to Arakis, but the show is still in pre-production, so new hires can be made to maintain the studio’s high standards. It’s worth noting that this change won’t affect the release of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune Part 2 later this fall. Although disappointing news, the studio is working to ensure a satisfying experience for Dune fans through suitable replacements.