Joss Whedon‘s involvement with The Nevers has ended.
CinemaBlend reports Whedon announced his departure late Wednesday after what the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator called a “year of unprecedented challenges” which has “impacted my life and perspective in ways I could never have imagined.” The series centers on a group of Victorian women with strange abilities and a mission to save the world. Attached to the program since it was announced nearly three years ago, Whedon was slated to serve as showrunner and direct a number of episodes. The cast includes Laura Donnelly, Olivia Williams, Ann Skelly, Pip Torrens, and Nick Frost.
Some scenes were filmed in the summer of 2019 and early 2020, but, as Whedon explained, the demands of trying to mount the series during a pandemic — and some unspecified personal issues — left him “genuinely exhausted.”
“[I] am stepping back to martial my energy towards my own life, which is also at the brink of exciting change,” he added. Executive producers Bernadette Caulfield, Jane Espenson, and Doug Petrie will presumably remain on board to shepherd the program to air.
According to Deadline, HBO acknowledged Whedon’s departure, saying, “We remain excited about the future of The Nevers and look forward to its premiere in the summer of 2021.”
Whedon’s exit is notable as it is the latest project he has stepped away from after noting creative burnout or frustration. He also departed from a planned Batgirl film after deciding he could not crack the story. Also, it should be mentioned, Whedon is at the very center of Ray Fisher‘s campaign to bring on-set abuses in the film industry to light. According to the Justice League actor, Whedon was verbally abusive to cast and crew during the 2017 reshoots he directed following Zack Snyder‘s departure from the project.
It is, of course, unclear if Fisher’s crusade had anything to do with Whedon stepping down from The Nevers, but perhaps reading about it inspired some sort of introspection in the writer to consider his missteps. Or, perhaps, HBO and its corporate parent, AT&T, are trying to get ahead of another scandal. Either way, The Nevers will still debut next year.