Variety reports that the show, which is still scheduled to premiere next year, is now without a showrunner. "We have parted ways with Joss Whedon," HBO said in a statement. "We remain excited about the future of The Nevers and look forward to its premiere." Whedon released a statement discussing the departure, too, blaming it on "physical challenges" that come with shooting a high-budget TV show during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"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," said Whedon. "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 added that The Nevers is "a true labor of love" that he put "two plus years of labor" into. The show was first ordered straight-to-series by the premium cable channel back in July 2018, and has been described as a sci-fi drama focused on a group of Victorian women with special abilities. Laura Donnelly, Olivia Williams, and Nick Frost were cast as leads in the show.
His exit comes not long after WarnerMedia launched an investigation into the Justice League production concerns, though both HBO and Whedon fail to mention the allegations in their statements. The investigation was kicked off after Ray Fisher, who worked with Whedon on Justice League, publicly criticized the writer-director for allegedly abusive behavior. Fisher's co-star Jason Momoa backed him up, and stated that Fisher was treated "shitty" and that "serious stuff went down."
Whedon has denied Fisher's allegations about his behavior, specifically refuting the claim that he digitally altered the skin tone of an actor for the film.