Renowned and extremely talented Indian actress Tabu has been cast in a recurring role in the upcoming Max streaming series Dune: Prophecy, a prequel and spin-off to Denis Villeneuve’s highly successful Dune film series. This series, which has been in development since before the pandemic, was initially titled Dune: The Sisterhood.

Tabu to star in Dune: Prophecy as Sister Francesca


Dune: Prophecy draws its inspiration from the novel Sisterhood of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. The series is set thousands of years before the events depicted in Villeneuve’s films Dune Part 1 and Dune Part 2 and explores the origin story of the Bene Gesserit, a powerful sisterhood of women with superhuman abilities gained through extensive mental and physical training.

Dune: Prophecy starring Tabu is inspired by Sisterhood of Dune

Tabu as Sister Francesca

Tabu will portray Sister Francesca, a character described as strong, intelligent, and alluring. Sister Francesca is said to have a significant impact on the power dynamics within the palace, having been a former great love of the Emperor.

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Tabu joins a distinguished cast that includes Emily Watson, Olivia Williams, Jodhi May, Travis Fimmel, Mark Strong, and others. The series is set within the expansive universe of Dune, created by Frank Herbert, and takes place 10,000 years before Paul Atreides’ rise to power. It follows two Harkonnen sisters as they confront threats to humanity’s future and establish the sect known as the Bene Gesserit.

Development Challenges and Changes

The series has faced several development challenges, including multiple showrunner changes and a creative reset in 2023. Initially developed by Dana Calvo and Jon Spaihts, the series later saw Diane Ademu-John taking over from Spaihts. , known for Chernobyl, was initially hired to direct the first two episodes but both he and Ademu-John departed due to creative differences. Alison Schapker was subsequently appointed as the sole showrunner, with Anna Foerster set to direct multiple episodes.

Tabu’s Illustrious Career

Tabu is one of the most celebrated actresses in Indian cinema, with an illustrious career that includes National Film Awards for Maachis and Chandni Bar, and acclaimed performances in films like Cheeni Kum, Haider, and Andhadhun. She has also appeared in international projects such as Life of Pi, The Namesake, and the BBC miniseries A Suitable Boy directed by Mira Nair. Her role in Dune: Prophecy marks her latest venture into international storytelling.

The Dune film series, with its first two instalments grossing over a billion dollars worldwide, has set a high bar for its prequel series. As fans eagerly await the premiere of Dune: Prophecy, Tabu’s involvement adds to the excitement surrounding this expansive universe. The series is yet to announce its premiere date, but the journey into the origins of the Bene Gesserit promises to be a compelling addition to the Dune saga.