Joss Whedon is stepping away from 'The Nevers'.

Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon

The 56-year-old writer-and-director had created the programme - which is described as a "quasi-superhero series centred on a group of young women in Victorian-era England" - for HBO but he's now announced he won't be involved any further because he is "genuinely exhausted" and is worried he isn't up to the "challenge" of making a TV show during the coronavirus pandemic without its quality being compromised.

He said: "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 realise 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 labour of love, but after two-plus years of labour, love is about all I have to offer. It will never fade.”

HBO have confirmed they are still going ahead with the series and will debut next summer.

They said in a statement: "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.”

It has been speculated that the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' showrunner's departure may have been connected with the controversy surrounding actor Ray Fisher, who has accused the director of "abusive, unprofessional" behaviour on the set of 'Justice League'.

The claims are currently being investigated, though both Joss and Warner Bros. have disputed some of the allegations.

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