Joss Whedon, the creative voice behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Marvel’s first two Avengers films, is walking away from this latest project, a series titled The Nevers that he was creating for HBO. Crossing the genres of sci-fi and historical fiction, The Nevers was announced in 2018 and was aiming for a Spring 2021 release on the cable network.
In a statement released exclusively to CinemaBlend explaining his decision to leave The Nevers, Whedon said:
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. 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.
While Joss Whedon's departure from The Nevers may come as a shock to prospective viewers interested in the series, the show is stil on the way. HBO has released a statement regarding Whedon's decision, saying:
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.
In a story posted to HBO at the time of announcement, Joss Whedon’s The Nevers was described with the following, fascinating plot synopsis:
In the last years of Victoria’s reign, London is beset by the “Touched”: people — mostly women — who suddenly manifest abnormal abilities, some charming, some very disturbing. Among them are Amalia True (Laura Donnelly), a mysterious, quick-fisted widow, and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly), a brilliant young inventor. They are the champions of this new underclass, making a home for the Touched, while fighting the forces of… well, pretty much all the forces — to make room for those whom history as we know it has no place.
It’s currently unclear how much work still needs to be completed on the HBO series, or if Joss Whedon’s departure spells the end of the project’s development process. We have reached out to HBO for clarification on the status of the show following Whedon’s announcement but have yet to hear back.
The Nevers was busy in its casting stages. As mentioned in the synopsis, Laura Donnelly and Ann Skelly were tapped to play the leads, while the supporting cast rounds out with Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Ben Chaplin and Nick Frost. Speaking with the website Collider in October, Frost said of the show:
It looks fucking crazy, it looks amazing. I think the script is fantastic. My character’s like a serial lunatic. … Apart from the fact there’s a supernatural element, it just feels totally different. … I mean, even me with a broad kind of lexicon of knowledge of the supernatural and the genre, I was reading the scripts thinking, ‘Fucking hell, this is gonna be incredible.’
We’ll continue to track down news regarding a possible replacement for Joss Whedon as the writer, producer and showrunner on The Nevers, as well as potential news on the show’s 2021 release date. Keep it here on CinemaBlend for the latest, including a full run down of the latest TV schedules.