An HBO spokesperson said the show is still scheduled to premiere next summer. Whedon was the creative force behind the show, and was set to serve as writer, director, executive producer, and showrunner.
“We have parted ways with Joss Whedon. We remain excited about the future of ‘The Nevers’ and look forward to its premiere,” said the premium cabler in a statement.
Whedon attributed his departure to being unable to meet “the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a global pandemic,” in a statement of his own.
“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,” Whedon said. “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.”
“The Nevers,” which was ordered straight-to-series in July 2018, is described 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.
Casting on the show was complete, with Laura Donnelly, Olivia Williams and Nick Frost leading a company which also includes Kiran Sonia Sawar, Elizabeth Berrington, Ella Smith, Viola Prettejohn, Anna Devlin and Martyn Ford.
Back when the show was ordered, Whedon described it as “the most ambitious narrative I’ve created,” which is saying something coming from the creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly.”
It’s been too long since I created an entirely new fictional world,” he added.
Whedon is also currently at the center of an investigation by WarnerMedia (HBO’s parent company) over allegations of misconduct on the set of “Justice League” made by star Ray Fisher. The investigation is still ongoing.
Cinemablend first reported the Whedon news.