Joss Whedon has announced that he is stepping down from HBO’s upcoming sci-fi series The Nevers, citing various reasons for his decision in “this year of unprecedented challenges.”
In a statement released to CinemaBlend, Whedon explained that the taxing nature of working on such a project during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had taken a toll on his energy levels, as he confirmed that he would be officially exiting the series, on which he was serving as writer, director, executive producer, and showrunner.
“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 wrote in his departure statement.
“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,” he explained further. “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.”
HBO released a separate statement regarding Whedon’s decision to leave the project. In the statement, the network confirmed that the sci-fi series is still on schedule to be released next year, writing, “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.”
The Nevers was originally announced in 2018 as “an epic science fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world.” While it’s unclear how much work had been completed on the HBO series up until this point, it is understood that the cast had been finalised.
The series is being headed by Laura Donnelly (Outlander), who plays Amalia True, and Ann Skelly (Red Rock), who stars as Penance Adair, Amalia’s best friend in the show. The cast also features Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Ben Chaplin, Pip Torrens, Zackary Momoh, Amy Manson, Nick Frost, Rochelle Neil, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Denis O’Hare.
If you’re looking to fill up your watch list in the meantime, IGN has a complete rundown of everything that was available on HBO’s streaming service at launch, with notable highlights including the entire Studio Ghibli collection, all eight Harry Potter films, and a curation of timeless Turner Classic Movies like Gone With the Wind, and Once Upon a Time in the West.
Adele Ankers is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist. You can reach her on Twitter.