Variety has learned exclusively that Diane Ademu-John has boarded “Dune: The Sisterhood” in the role of writer, showrunner, and executive producer. Jon Spaihts had previously been attached to run the series, but he stepped down in November 2019 to focus on writing the script for the second of the “Dune” reboot films.
The show was ordered straight-to-series at HBO Max in June 2019. Set in the universe of Frank Herbert’s epic “Dune” novel series, “Dune: The Sisterhood” is 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. It will serve as a prequel to the films.
Ademu-John most recently worked as an executive producer and writer on the Netflix horror series “The Haunting of Bly Manor.” Prior to that, she worked on shows such as “Empire” at Fox, “The Originals” and “The Vampire Diaries” at The CW, and “Medium” and “Crossing Jordan” at NBC.
She is repped by Paradigm, Atlas Literary, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.
Denis Villeneuve is still attached to direct the pilot for the series. Along with Spaihts, Villeneuve, Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert for the Frank Herbert estate will executive produce along with Scott Z. Burns. Kevin J. Anderson will co-produce. The series hails from Legendary Television, with Legendary also producing the upcoming film reboot.
The “Dune” series is one of several upcoming shows at HBO Max that are tied into new films. The streamer is also currently working on the “Peacemaker” series starring John Cena, reprising his role from the new “Suicide Squad” film, as well as a Gotham PD series that is tied into the events of “The Batman” starring Robert Pattinson.
The first new “Dune” film was supposed to hit theaters last year before its release was delayed due to the pandemic. It will now arrive in theaters on Oct. 22 in addition to being available on HBO Max. A full-length trailer dropped on Thursday.
Spaihts and Villeneuve also co-wrote the screenplay for the film along with Eric Roth. Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, and Dave Bautista are among those attached to star. The book had previously been adapted into a 1984 film written and directed by David Lynch.
(Pictured: Diane Ademu-John, left; Charlotte Rampling as Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam in 2021’s “Dune,” right)