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Dune: Prophecy: Trailer, Cast, Story, and Everything Else to Know

Max's epic Dune prequel series will take us back thousands of years before Paul Atreides was born

Phil Owen
Dune: Prophecy

Dune: Prophecy


Ever since Warner Bros. commissioned filmmaker Denis Villeneuve to put together his Dune films, the studio has also been developing a prequel series focused on the origin of the supernaturally powerful Bene Gesserit for the Max streaming service. 

But this first six-episode season of the series, dubbed Dune: Prophecy, has experienced a lot of behind-the-scenes upheaval — it's already on its fourth showrunner, and director Johan Renck left the show after a couple months of filming, which led to several major recastings and a lengthy production hiatus. This kind of drama is troubling, sure, but let's not forget that Game of Thrones had to reshoot its pilot episode after an apparently disastrous first try. As you may recall, that ended up turning out OK.

Right now, meanwhile, all that seems to be in the past, as Dune: Prophecy completed production months ago. This show is happening, and one way or another it'll be one of the most anticipated shows of the year by the time it premieres thanks to its association with the acclaimed Dune films. Here's everything we know about Dune: Prophecy.

Dune: Prophecy trailer

Warner Bros. and Max finally released the first trailer for Dune: Prophecy on May 16. It's not really plot-heavy, instead delivering the basics and otherwise giving you a sense of the look and vibe of the series. Unshockingly, the aesthetic is pretty similar to that of the movies. Check it out.

Dune: Prophecy release date

Dune: Prophecy doesn't yet have a firm premiere date — the trailer merely promises that the series will arrive in the fall of 2024 sometime. 

What is Dune: Prophecy about?

Dune: Prophecy — originally titled Dune: Sisterhood — bills itself as taking place 10,000 years before the events of the films, telling the story of the how the Bene Gesserit witches achieved their power and set in motion an incredibly outlandish long-term plan for human civilization. The titular prophecy is the one that would eventually lead to Timothée Chalamet's Paul Atreides' journey across Arrakis — yes, it's that same prophecy that gets so much discussion in Dune: Part Two.

In the Dune stories, the Bene Gesserit are an order female sorcerers who attempt to guide human civilization from the shadows by manipulating rulers and implementing long-term breeding programs. In the films, Paul Atreides' mother is one of these witches, and Paul himself is the culmination of those breeding programs. Dune: Prophecy will focus on Valya Harkonnen, who was originally a member of the Sisters of Rossack, the precursor organization to the Bene Gesserit that was disbanded by the emperor. Dune: Prophecy will show us how Valya originally turned that old order of sorcerers into the Bene Gesserit, and it should also get into the origins of spice-based space travel — which is the reason why Arrakis ends up being so important.

More on HBO and Max:

Is Dune: Prophecy based on a book?

Dune: Prophecy is not a new or original story. Dune: Prophecy is based on the "Great Schools of Dune" trilogy co-written by Frank Herbert's son, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson. It's hard to say how closely the story will stick to those books, since they're pretty obscure to everybody who isn't a lifelong die-hard fan of Dune — which means the creatives behind this series won't see a lot of fan pressure to adhere to the story as written the way the movies do. We already know about a few major characters who are original to this series though, like Emperor Javicco, so it's safe to expect a significant amount of fresh material.

Dune: Prophecy cast

This series has undergone a few major casting changes over the years, including a couple after a significant amount of the show had been filmed. But here's how things shook out.

How to watch the Dune films

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Considering that Dune: Prophecy will tie in closely with the Dune films despite the massive timeline gap, and will also feature a similar aesthetic, watching that trailer may well give you a hankering to revisit Villenueve's flicks. Fortunately, they're easy to find. The first Dune film is available for Max subscribers, which makes that a simple proposition — and David Lynch's Dune film from 1984 is also streaming on Max. Dune: Part Two, however, hasn't yet gotten the Max treatment, but it's available for purchase on digital or 4K Blu-ray and will hit Max on May 21.