Film director Joss Whedon is no longer making his return to television as planned this summer. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Whedon has left HBO’s upcoming sci-fi drama series, The Nevers. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, a rep for HBO said, “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.” Whedon is currently under investigation from Warner Bros. for alleged misconduct on the set of Justice League, where he replaced Zack Snyder as the director. Justice League actor Ray Fisher alleges Whedon engaged in “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behavior while on set, and recently accused Whedon of digitally altering an actor’s skin color tone in post-production, which Whedon denies doing.
The Nevers was picked up by HBO for a straight to series order in July 2018, beating out other outlets including Netflix. The series is set to star Outlander’s Laura Connelly, who plays Amalia True, a “menace to Victorian” society leader of the group known as the Orphans that have “unusual abilities, relentless enemies and a mission that might change the world.” Whedon was supposed to write, direct, executive produce and serve as showrunner on The Nevers, which would have marked the director’s return to television after over a decade away since creating and executive produced Fox’s Dollhouse. Whedon issued a statement about his departure from the series:
“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.”