The behind-the-scenes saga of HBO Max’s Dune: The Sisterhood continues. Variety reports that Diane Ademu-John has come on board as the series’ showrunner, stepping into the position left empty when Jon Spaihts left the production in order to focus on writing the screenplay for the not-yet-greenlit second Dune movie.
Ademu-John’s resume includes, most recently, working as writer and executive producer on The Haunting of Bly Manor. She was also an executive producer and writer on The Originals, the Vampire Diaries spinoff, so the Dune series is hardly her first step into SFF fare.
A major concern when Dune: The Sisterhood was first announced was that a series about the Bene Gesserit, the most powerful women in the Dune universe, seemed to have an almost entirely male creative team. Ademu-John’s hiring begins to address that imbalance, though we’ll have to wait and see what the show’s writer’s room looks like. Dune director Denis Villenueve is still attached to direct the pilot episode, and he and Spaihts are among the producers, along with Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Kim Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson.
The involvement of Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson suggests that the series may pull from the duo’s prequel novel Sisterhood of Dune, though news reports haven’t said as much outright—just that the series is a prequel to the film(s). The initial announcement about the show said it “explores the future through the eyes of a mysterious order of women: the Bene Gesserit. Given 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.”
No production timeline or premiere date for Dune: The Sisterhood has been announced.