How Can Dune: Prophecy Be Related To The Movies If It’s Not Based On A Frank Herbert Novel?!

MOVIE NEWS – The upcoming Max series Dune: Prophecy is related to Denis Villeneuve’s films but not based on Frank Herbert’s book.



So far this decade, there hasn’t been a new sci-fi series that has reached the quality of Denis Villeneuve’s two Dune films. Described by many as a cross between Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, Villeneuve’s Dune provided a blockbuster cinematic event that can only be believed if you have experienced it. The prequel series Dune: Prophecy will debut on Max in the fall of 2024.

Prophecy aims to build on the success of Villeneuve’s films, although a handful of behind-the-scenes details separate this series from the new Dune films.

Among these, Dune: Prophecy is primarily not based on one of Frank Herbert’s Dune books. However, the following is worth knowing about it.


The Sisterhood of Dune that Prophecy is based on


In fact, Dune: Prophecy is not based on one of Frank Herbert’s Dune novels. But on another Dune novel written and published by the author’s son Brian Herbert with co-author Kevin J. Anderson. For a quick background summary: Frank Herbert wrote and published six Dune books, the last of which, Chapterhouse: Dune, was published in 1985, just a year before the author died in 1986.

However, more than a decade later, the Herbert estate announced that several of the author’s drafts for more Dune stories had been located and that his son Brian would be working with Herbert Anderson to finish the stories and begin publishing them.

The first such new book was Dune: House Atreides, published in 1999. It is a historical novel that reveals the story of a family that played a central role in the entire Dune saga. Brian Herbert and Anderson have published more than 20 additional Dune prequel and spin-off novels over the past 25 years.



Dune: Prophecy



Dune: Prophecy is (at least loosely) based on one of those novels. Specifically in 2012’s Sisterhood of Dune. This book was the first part of the Great Schools of Dune series. The latter is a trilogy that explores the history of the mysterious organizations at the centre of the Dune universe – the Bene Gesserit (Sisterhood of Dune), the Mentats of Dune and the Navigators of Dune.

This all sounds good, although there is an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed: the Dune books published by Brian Herbert and Anderson are generally considered to be of much lower quality than those published during Frank Herbert’s lifetime.

While they certainly have their fans, most of these books are full of inconsistencies and contradictions compared to the original Dune novels. In addition, their stories are much less thought-provoking and forward-thinking. Still, Sisterhood is considered one of the stronger books. (Though it’s still far from the original novels.)


Denis Villeneuve also participated in the production of the series


Going back to Dune: Prophecy, based on what we’ve seen so far, the new series borrows only a few ideas from Sisterhood. Rather than adapt that story beat for beat. The series takes place in the same universe as Villeneuve’s Dune films. It examines the origins of the Bene Gesserit approximately 10,000 years before the birth of Paul Atreides. Several key characters from the novel will be transferred to the live-action series. For example, the Harkonnen sisters Valya and Tula, played by Emily Watson and Olivia Williams in the series. However, new characters, such as Emperor Javicco Corinno, played by Mark Strong, also appear.

When Dune: Prophecy began work in the summer of 2019, more than two years before Villeneuve’s first Dune film hit theatres, the director was initially said to be closely tied to the series.

Villeneuve would direct several episodes of the spin-off series. While Jon Spaihts (co-writer of the screenplay for Dune and Dune: Part Two) was assigned as showrunner to manage the entire project. However, in the same year, Spaihts dropped out of the series. Supposedly so he could focus more on the Dune movies. However, according to some reports, the studio removed him from the project because they were unhappy with his work.

Eventually, a new showrunner was hired and development on Dune: Prophecy restarted. The series began production in 2022, and the showrunner was Alison Schapker. However, Villeneuve no longer undertook to direct the episodes. Anna Foerster, who worked on series such as Westworld, Jessica Jones and Carnival Row, stepped into the director’s chair instead.



MOZI HÍREK - Előfordulhat, hogy az HBO Max visszatérése az Arrakisra kicsit késik - vagy meg sem történik soha... The Sisterhood Dune: Prophecy



Is WB trying to expand Dune into a franchise?!


Villeneuve seems to have only committed to directing three Dune films. However, WB Discovery clearly has bigger ambitions for the series. Dune: Prophecy is the studio’s first attempt to determine if audiences are interested in a different kind of Dune story. If the series is successful, there is no doubt that more seasons could follow soon.

In addition, the story of Dune is one of the densest and most layered of the major fiction series, so there is no shortage of material that could be mined for new stories.

It is very likely that WB Discovery views the series in a similar way to Game of Thrones. In the latter, it is a much more mature kind of fantasy storytelling, from which countless different spin-offs and new stories can be produced. We do not yet know whether this will have a good or bad effect on the long-term health of the Dune series. But die-hard Dune fans can already look forward to the near future. Dune: Prophecy is coming in Fall 2024.

Source: The Mary Sue, GameRant

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