Joss Whedon Departs HBO Series The Nevers

Joss Whedon Departs HBO Series The Nevers

HBO’s upcoming sci-fi drama series The Nevers has hit a major snag as its creator Joss Whedon (Marvel’s The Avengers, Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) has exited his role as co-writer/director. Cinemablend broke the story, and Deadline confirms that the show is still on track for a summer 2021 debut. The show was given a straight-to-series order in 2018, and began filming in July of 2019 before getting bogged down in COVID-19 complications.

“We have parted ways with Joss Whedon. We remain excited about the future of ‘The Nevers’ and look forward to its premiere in the summer of 2021,” a HBO spokeswoman said in a statement Wednesday.

“This year of unprecedented challenges has impacted my life and perspective in ways I could never have imagined, and while developing and producing ‘The Nevers’ has been a joyful experience, I realize that the level of commitment required moving forward, combined with the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a global pandemic, is more than I can handle without the work beginning to suffer,” Whedon stated. “I am genuinely exhausted, and am stepping back to martial my energy towards my own life, which is also at the brink of exciting change. I am deeply proud of the work we have done; I’m grateful to all my extraordinary cast and collaborators, and to HBO for the opportunity to shape yet another strange world. ‘The Nevers’ is a true labor of love, but after two plus years of labor, love is about all I have to offer. It will never fade.”

Said “challenges” may possibly refer to the ongoing investigation into the reshoots on 2017’s Justice League, on which Whedon served as writer/director. Actor Ray Fisher has made allegations (corroborated by that film’s co-star Jason Momoa) that Whedon’s behavior was unprofessional, and that this behavior on the famously troubled production was “enabled” by producers and executives at WarnerMedia, of which HBO is a part. Whedon has yet to publicly address the accusations, and it is unclear if his departure from The Nevers is linked to the Justice League matter.

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The Nevers is headlined by Laura Donnelly, who will play Amalia True. The series follows a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world.

The rest of the cast include Olivia Williams (Counterpart), James Norton (McMafia), Tom Riley (Dark Heart), Ann Skelly (Death and Nightingales), Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line), Pip Torrens (The Crown), Zackary Momoh (Seven Seconds), Amy Manson (Torchwood), Nick Frost (Fighting with My Family), Rochelle Neil (Terminator: Dark Fate), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark) and Denis O’Hare (Big Little Lies).

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Whedon was set to serve as executive producer, showrunner, writer, and director on the series. Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie also serve as co-writers and executive producers alongside EP Bernie Caulfield.

Are you sad to see Joss Whedon depart The Nevers? Will it impact whether you will check out the show next year? Let us know in the comments below!

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)