Will Rebecca Ferguson Appear in 'Dune: Prophecy'?

Ferguson plays the main Bene Gesserit sister in the 'Dune' movies, but probably won't appear in the prequel 'Dune: Prophecy.'

The upcoming Dune spinoff series will delve into the origins of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, but it's unlikely that Lady Jessica of the Atreides (Rebecca Ferguson) will appear in the series for one simple reason: it's a prequel. Dune: Prophecy – previously known by the working title Dune: The Sisterhood – is in production now and is slated to premiere on Max in late 2024. Here's how the show connects to the most prominent Bene Gesserit in the movies, Lady Jessica.

Dune is a sci-fi story set about 20,000 years in the future, and the timeline can be a bit difficult to keep track of. However, you only need to understand a few simple points to get this spinoff. In the original novels written by Frank Herbert, humanity was able to colonize the galaxy thanks to the use of advanced artificial intelligence, but as the AI became more and more conscious, they came into conflict with mankind. About 10,000 years in the future, the wars between AI and humanity reached a boiling point, and humanity destroyed all AI in an event known as the "Butlerian Jihad." This is roughly the time period where Dune: Prophecy is set, halfway between the present day and the time that the main series is set in.

In Herbert's fictional timeline, the wars against AI created a widespread mistrust of computers and all "thinking machines" in general. To fill their roles, humanity needed to push their own cognitive powers to new heights, giving rise to several new institutions including the Bene Gesserit. Prophecy is expected to be a story about the formation of the Bene Gesserit and the discovery of some of their superhuman abilities.

The show will obviously have a strong connection to Lady Jessica, who is a Reverend Mother of the Bene Gesserit in the main Dune series. She is a beneficiary of the foundation laid in Prophecy, so it's possible that she will make some kind of appearance in the series just to illustrate the continuity there. However, with no time travel in the Dune universe, it is very unlikely that she will be a main character in Prophecy.

Instead, Prophecy will star Emily Watson and Olivia Williams as Valya and Tula Harkonnen, two sisters who form a mystical sisterhood to combat threats against humanity. The show will also feature founding members of House Corrino as they establish themselves as the leaders of the galaxy, and early progenitors of Fremen culture. Our best guess is that the show will draw on the book Sisterhood of Dune – a prequel co-written by Herbert's son Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.

For now, fans can look forward to seeing Lady Jessica in Dune: Part Two, which premieres on Friday, March 1 only in theaters. Dune: Prophecy is slated to premiere in late 2024, introducing fans to a whole new side of the Dune universe.