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HBO Max’s Dune series has lost a lead actress and a director

Deadline reports that actress Shirley Henderson, one of Dune: The Sisterhood’s lead actresses, and director Johan Renck, who was slated to direct the first two episodes, have both decided to pull out of Dune: The Sisterhood just as the show enters a lengthy production hiatus. In a statement to Deadline, an HBO Max spokesperson emphasized that The Sisterhood’s hiatus had already been scheduled before two of the series’ key figures chose to part ways with the project, and that “there are some creative changes being made to the production in an effort to create the best series possible and stay true to the source material.

“Johan Renck has completed his work on the series and a new director will be brought on; through mutual agreement, Johan is moving on to pursue other projects,” the streamer said.

Originally, Henderson was slated to portray Tula Harkonnen, one of the founding members of Dune’s Bene Gesserit order that arises from another, older secretive group of women power players who operate in the shadows. The role of Tula will reportedly be recast, and current showrunner Alison Schapker’s team may have time to put more finishing touches on the series scripts. But from the outside looking in, it’s feeling like Dune: The Sisterhood could be in rather dire straits.

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