The Nevers: HBO, Joss Whedon Part Ways; Still Set for Summer 2021

HBO is still planning to premiere Joss Whedon's (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Avengers) upcoming "wild, Victorian, X-Men-meets-Sherlock-Holmes-meets 'girls-with-super-powers' mash-up" (direct quote from series star Denis O'Hare) series The Nevers in Summer 2021- it just won't be with Whedon. On Wednesday, HBO confirmed in a statement that it has parted ways with the show's creator, writer, director, executive producer, and showrunner. "We have parted ways with Joss Whedon. We remain excited about the future of The Nevers and look forward to its premiere," wrote the cable giant in a statement (noted by its lack of further mention of Whedon, parting well-wishes, etc.). For his part, Whedon cited "the level of commitment required moving forward, combined with the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a global pandemic" as being a major factor in his decision.

"The Nevers": Joss Whedon Tweets Principal Photography Start on Upcoming HBO Sci-Fi Drama
(The Nevers Image: Kathy Hutchins-Shutterstock.com/HBO)

"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," Whedon wrote in his own statement. "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."

A Look at the Cast for HBO's "The Nevers"

HBO and Whedon's The Nevers stars Olivia Williams (Miss Austen Regrets), James Norton (Grantchester), Tom Riley (Dark Heart), Ann Skelly (Death and Nightingales), Ben Chaplin (The Children Act), Pip Torrens (Preacher), Zackary Momoh (Seven Seconds), Amy Manson(Torchwood), Nick Frost (Fighting With My Family), Rochelle Neil (Death in Paradise), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark), Denis O'Hare (American Horror Story), Laura Donnelly (Outlander), Kiran Sonia Siwar (Brexit), Elizabeth Berrington (Good Omens), Ella Smith (Hoff the Record), Viola Prettejohn (The Witcher), Anna Devlin (12 Monkeys), and Martyn Ford (Kingsman: The Golden Circle).

Williams' Lavinia Bidlow is a wealthy spinster and champion of the "Touched" who funds the Orphanage (where Amalia and many of the Touched live) through her vast family fortune. She is stern and old-fashioned, but as strong-willed and clever as anyone she confronts. Norton's Hugo Swan is a pansexual posh boy whose charm has about five years left on its lease. He runs a secret club and a side trade in blackmail. He's devoted to fulfilling everyone's worst impression of him – and fascinated by the Touched.

Riley's Augustus "Augie" Bidlow is a sweet, disarming nerd and Lavinia's younger brother. A keen ornithologist, Augie is happy to let his older sister take the reins of the family fortune. He finds the Touched unnerving but is drawn to them by his increasing infatuation with Miss Adair, and by the schemes of his nefarious best friend, Hugo. Skelly's Penance Adair is Amalia's (Donnelly) dearest friend, and one of the first women to join her cause. A devout – yet heretically progressive – Irish girl, Penance has a genius for invention. She is delighted by her power, and her default is love and acceptance. But she's firm in her moral sense and will be guided by what's right over what's expedient every time.

Chaplin's Detective Frank Mundi is big, gruff, and deeply moral. He trusts no one, least of all himself: his reputation for sudden violence (and excessive drink) is not unwarranted. Frank finds himself caught between the powerful, who ignore the laws of the land, and the newly empowered, who ignore the laws of physics. Torrens' Lord Massen is staunch, unflappable, and merciless in his defense of the British Empire A former General and now Peer, Massen may be the only man who sees clearly what havoc these few strange people can wreak upon the established order. Which he will protect – one way or another.

The Nevers
(The Nevers Image: HBO)

Momoh's Doctor Horatio Cousens is one of the few successful West Indian physicians in London. Married with a young son, Horatio's fortunes took a dark turn when he met Amalia and discovered his own ability. Now he works with her, and with the Beggar King, those who don't care who is or isn't "different." Manson's Maladie was committed by her husband (and is genuinely unstable), warped by a power she can't understand, and tortured by doctors intent on finding its source. She now lives underground, runs a gang, and is on an infamous murder spree. She affects a theatrical parody of a bedlam waif, but mad as she is, she's a woman with a purpose.

Frost's Declan Orrun aka The Beggar King is charismatic and brutal. Declan runs – or has a piece of – most of the low-level criminal activity in the city. He's perfectly happy to help Amalia and her cause – and equally happy to sell them out. He backs winners, and the Touched are long odds. Neil's Annie Carbey aka Bonfire is a career criminal who landed the ability to control fire and is happy to hire it out. Came up rough, stayed that way, but she's neither impulsive nor cruel – just looking out for herself. No matter who she works with or for, Annie trusts only Annie, and the fire.

Tomlinson's Mary Brighton is gentle but surprisingly resilient, pursuing her dream of singing on stage. A disappointing career and a broken engagement haven't diminished her spirit. She's going to be great. She's going to be very surprised by how. O'Hare's Dr. Edmund Hague is a  gifted American surgeon who uses his skills in the coldest, most brutal way possible. But it's all in the name of "progress". Siwar's Harriet Kaur is a young Scottish Sikh who lives with the Orphans but is accepted by both her family and her betrothed. She's determined to live her life as she planned, despite its increasing weirdness.

Berrington's Lucy Best is a dirt-poor and streetwise woman who has given up thieving to live with the Orphans. Her wit and high spirits mask a tragic past. Smith's Desiree Blodgett is a prostitute whose power makes men tell her everything on their minds. What she's heard may get her killed, even though she doesn't listen to most of it. She's devoted to her 6-year-old son, who never speaks. Prettejohn's Myrtle Haplisch is a middle-class girl rescued from a family who can't understand her — literally, as she no longer can speak — and is thrilled to be at the Orphanage. Devlin's Primrose Chattaway wants to be an ordinary, proper 16-year-old girl — which is difficult, as she stands 10 feet tall. Ford recurs as Nicolas Perbal, aka Odium, the quintessential henchman who will do anything for anybody's money.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.

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