Updated: Feb 15
When Joss Whedon decided to take a break from The Nevers, many of us assumed that Douglas Petrie or Jane Espenson, executive producers alongside Joss, would take over the reins. But it seems that HBO had other plans. Late last month, Deadline reported that Philippa Goslett would serve as the new showrunner, taking over from Whedon for the last third of filming.
So who is Philippa Goslett?
Philippa is a British screenwriter whose credits include 2008's Spanish-British drama Little Ashes starring Robert Pattinson and Federico Lorca. She also wrote 2018's Mary Magdalene starring Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Comfortable with period dramas, Goslett would appear to be a good choice to take over the showrunning duties.
As The Nevers' new showrunner, Goslett will ensure that Joss' vision for his series is carried out as planned. Typically a showrunner is in charge of the writers' room and nearly every aspect of the series. However, with The Nevers (an original story created by Whedon,) Joss has already crafted his show precisely how he had envisioned it. It's important to keep in mind that everything from the characters to the story arcs and all the creative ideas were birthed and molded in the writers' room that wrapped well over a year ago with Joss' direct involvement and leadership. Goslett's primary responsibility as the new showrunner will be to manage the production and protect Joss' creative vision. She'll also act as a liaison between The Nevers and HBO and ensure that the production goes as smoothly as possible.
On the other hand, should the series be renewed for a second season, sans Joss, and Goslett stays on, she'll assuredly have more creative input. However, Joss is known for planning his stories, whether in television or comic books, through to the very end when first conceiving of them. Whoever takes over the second season, should there be one without Joss, will likely have an already established narrative arc to follow.
Joss has a very distinctive writing style that has made his work iconic and has garnered many fans, myself included. Some have expressed concern that his voice might be lessened or absent entirely from the series now that he's stepped away. However, they needn't worry. As mentioned, The Nevers is Joss' creation, and the writers' room for season one was headed by Joss and wrapped in early 2019. All ten scripts, where Joss is either the sole writer or a co-writer, were completed before filming commenced, as is the way with many HBO productions. Viewers will definitely feel his sensibilities throughout the entire first season. It's also worth mentioning that Joss directed most (if not all) of the first half of season one (S1 A), consisting of six episodes. Season one as a whole will include ten episodes.
In other news....
The Nevers is a massive production. A lengthy filming period was to be expected. However, even when considering the initial downtime after wrapping on episode one, plus the break in production due to COVID, we believed that they would have all ten episodes wrapped by the end of last year. Well, we may have jumped the gun when, in November, we'd said that filming had wrapped on season one. Sorry about that, Neverites!
At the time, it was a little unclear, but given that principal photography began in July 2019, it seemed plausible. It turns out that they completed filming on only the first half of the season (as mentioned above.)
We've since learned from a source that filming on the remaining episodes is set to commence in March, and Variety has confirmed that the second half of the first season is currently in pre-production.
I want to end by thanking those who have reached out to us in private, Twitter, and Facebook to share their support and well wishes for Joss. While we're not officially affiliated with the production, we do have many of its cast and crew following us, and I don't doubt that your well-wishes will get back to Joss.
What are your thoughts on the new showrunner? Are you familiar with Philippa Goslett's work? Do you think that she's a good choice to take on the showrunning duties from here on it? Should The Nevers continue without Joss? Why do you think Douglas Petrie or Jane Espenson take over? Sound off in the comments and let's talk!