‘Dune: The Sisterhood’ Adds Indira Varma Ahead of Start of Filming in Budapest

Indira Varma
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

After appearing in Game of Thrones and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Indira Varma is adding to her genre-TV résumé with a role on the upcoming HBO Max series Dune: The Sisterhood.

In the show — a prequel spinoff of the 2021 film Dune — Varma will play Empress Natalya, “a formidable royal who united thousands of worlds in her marriage to Emperor Corrino,” according to Deadline.

The casting news comes as the team behind Dune: The Sisterhood prepare to shoot the series next month in Budapest, Hungary, alongside the filming of the big-screen sequel Dune: Part Two, as Deadline reported separately.

An adaptation of a book by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson — and based on the world created by sci-fi novelist Frank Herbert, Brian’s father — Dune: The Sisterhood focuses on “a mysterious order of women, the Bene Gesserit, whose extraordinary mastery of body and mind allow them to expertly weave through the feudal politics and intrigue of The Imperium,” HBO Max teases.

Emily Watson (Chernobyl) and Shirley Henderson (Happy Valley) previously joined the Sisterhood cast. Watson and Henderson will play Valya Harkonnen and Tula Harkonnen, members of the secret organization of women known as the Sisterhood. The logline for the series teases that Valya and Tula will “combat forces that threaten the future of humankind and establish the fabled sect known as the Bene Gesserit.”

Diane Ademu-John (The Haunting of Bly Manor) is the creator of Dune: The Sisterhood, as well as writer, executive producer, and co-showrunner alongside fellow exec producer Alison Schapker (Westworld). Other EPs include Brian Herbert and Denis Villeneuve, the latter of whom directed last year’s Dune film.

Johan Renck, who won Emmys for his directing and producing work on Chernobyl, will also executive-produce the series and will direct the series premiere.

Dune: The Sisterhood, TBA, HBO Max