Joss Whedon Parts Ways With HBO Drama ‘The Nevers’

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26 Nov 20

Joss Whedon Parts Ways With HBO Drama ‘The Nevers’ (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Joss Whedon’s return to tv drama has hit a setback, as HBO announce they have “parted ways” with the director from his upcoming drama The Nevers.

‘The Nevers’ is described as an epic sci-fi drama which follows a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world. Whedon was set to direct, produce and server as showrunner on the series.

The statement from HBO simply reads “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.”

Joss himself also released a rather longer statement commenting “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 continues “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 labour of love, but after two-plus years of labour, love is about all I have to offer. It will never fade.”

So, whilst Joss appears to have gone from the project, it is still moving forward at HBO, presumably with a new showrunner. He was writing the drama with fellow ex-‘Buffy’ writers Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie, so whether one of those two step-up, or whether they bring in someone new, remains to be seen. The series would have marked Whedon’s first original creation for TV since ‘Dollhouse’, which ended back in 2010.

The series already has an extensive cast in place including Laura Donnelly (‘Outlander’), James Norton (‘Grantchester’), Ben Chaplin (‘Press’), Eleanor Tomlinson (‘Poldark’), Tom Riley (‘Da Vinci’s Demons’), Olivia Williams (‘Dollhouse’, ‘Counterpart’), Nick Frost (‘Hot Fuzz’, ‘Sick Note’), Pip Torrens (‘The Crown’), Denis O’Hare (‘This Is Us’, ‘Big Little Lies’), Amy Manson (‘Once Upon A Time’, ‘Atlantis’), Ann Skelly (‘Vikings’), Zackary Momoh (‘Seven Seconds’, ‘No Offence’), Rochelle Neil (‘Episodes’), Kiran Sonia Sawar (‘Silent Witness’, ‘Brexit: The Uncivil War’), Elizabeth Berrington (‘Stella’, ‘Waterloo Road’), Ella Smith (‘Babylon’, ‘Horrible Histories: The Movie’), Viola Prettejohn(‘Counterpart’), Anna Devlin (’12 Monkeys’, ‘Hanna’), and Martyn Ford (‘Of Kings and Prophets’, ‘Final Score’).

The drama was given a straight-to-series order by HBO in mid-2018, and Joss described it as “the most ambitious narrative” he’d ever created, so it is possible what he’s saying about being “exhausted” is genuine. However, there is also the issue of an investigation by sister company, Warner Bros, regarding his conduct on the ‘Justice League’ film after actor Ray Fisher accused the director of “abusive and unprofessional” behaviour on set.

The Nevers‘ is set to premiere in Summer 2021 on HBO in the USA and Sky Atlantic in the UK.