AceShowbiz - Joss Whedon has cancelled plans to return to TV after exiting his new science-fiction show "The Nevers".
The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator was due to helm his first series in a decade by taking the reins on the HBO drama, but he and bosses at the U.S. TV network have announced he will not be writing, directing, producing and acting as showrunner as planned.
HBO chiefs told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday (25Nov20), "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 his own statement, "The Avengers" director said he was leaving the show to focus on an "exciting change" in his personal life.
"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," he said.
"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."
The show was picked up without the need for a pilot in July, 2018 after a bidding war and is set to star Laura Donnelly, Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Ann Skelly, Ben Chaplin, Pip Torrens, Zackary Momoh, Nick Frost, Rochelle Neil, and Eleanor Tomlinson.
"The Nevers" is billed 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."
Whedon's exit comes after "Justice League" actor Ray Fisher accused him of "abusive" and "unprofessional" behaviour on the set of the film, prompting an investigation at Warner Bros. which, like HBO, is a part of WarnerMedia.