The upcoming HBO period drama conceived, produced, written, and directed by Joss Whedon has lost its creator and chief architect. Weeks after wrapping on The Nevers, Joss stated via Cinmeablend.com that he's stepping back from his new series after working on its first season.
Since 2009's Dollhouse and after writing and directing two billion-plus dollar films, The Nevers marks Whedon's return to television. Joss described his new sci-fi series as "maybe the most ambitious narrative" that he's created. It was meant to be an epic return to the small screen for the accomplished writer.
"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," Whedon told cinemablend. "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."
In addition to learning of filming having wrapped, we'd just learned that The Nevers would premiere in the second quarter of 2021. The first season is likely to be split into two parts due to the pandemic interfering with filming.
HBO has invested a considerable amount of money into this show, so rest assured that it will make its way onto our television screens. As stated in HBO's press release to The Hollywood Reporter, The Nevers will premiere in the summer of 2021. We don't yet know if the series will continue past its first season. If it does, we can almost certainly expect to see Douglas Petrie or Jane Espenson, two of the executive producers, take the series's helm.
As I shared in a tweet, The Nevers is Joss Whedon's creation. His fingerprints will be all over the first season, from the writing to the directing. Knowing this, however, his departure is still a punch to the gut for me. Joss Whedon is a creative that I much admire and respect. No one's work has impacted and resonated with me as much as his. My interest and excitement for The Nevers are largely due to Joss' direct involvement in it. It's why so many of us are excited for The Nevers; it's a Joss Whedon creation that's executive produced and showrun by Joss for HBO. He had full creative control over it, just the way we Whedonites like it. To have him step away is truly-truly heartbreaking.
To me, it doesn't feel right for the series to continue past its first season without Joss' involvement. The Nevers is his creation. It's a story that he conceived of, and no one else can tell it the way he can. However, so many talented actors have been cast in this series. It would be a shame to say goodbye to them after only one season.
The Nevers is on track for a summer 2021 premiere, and all signs point likely to a split season. When/if we learn more, we'll be sure to let you know.
I continue to wish Joss the very best in both his professional and personal life, and if you're reading this, I'm sorry to see you go. I am still as enthusiastic for the first season of The Nevers as I have ever been, and I have no doubt that it will exceed all expectations. However, perhaps selfishly, I hope that we don't have to wait too long after the season finale for something new from Joss.
What are your thoughts? Has your interest in The Nevers waned now that you know that Joss will not be involved after its first season? Should HBO present The Nevers as a mini-series and conclude it after the first season? Or should it continue with Douglas and/or Jane as the showrunners?