In a statement, HBO confirmed that they had “parted ways” with Whedon, who initially served as writer, director and showrunner of The Nevers – a forthcoming sci-fi series that is due to premiere in 2021.
“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,” Whedon said in a statement to Cinema Blend.
He continued: “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 labour, love is about all I have to offer. It will never fade.”
Whedon’s departure comes amid an investigation into allegations of “abusive, unprofessional” behaviour on Justice League made by Fisher, who played the superhero Cyborg in the film. On Twitter, Fisher claimed that the events are linked.
“I have no intention of allowing Joss Whedon to use the old Hollywood tactic of ‘exiting’, ‘stepping down’, or ‘walking away’ to cover for his terrible behaviour,” Fisher wrote. “WarnerMedia’s JL investigation has been in full swing for over three weeks now. This is undoubtedly a result of it.”
The Independent has reached out to Whedon’s representative and lawyer for comment on Fisher’s allegation.
I have no intention of allowing Joss Whedon to use the old Hollywood tactic of “exiting”, “stepping down”, or “walking away” to cover for his terrible behavior.
WarnerMedia’s JL investigation has been in full swing for over 3 weeks now.
This is undoubtedly a result of it.
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) November 26, 2020
Fisher previously claimed in October that he chose to speak out about his experiences on the Justice League set after “becoming informed that Joss had ordered that the complexion of an actor of colour be changed in post-production because he didn’t like the colour of his skin tone”.
In a statement, a representative for Whedon said the skin colour allegation was false.
“The individual who offered this statement acknowledged that this was just something that he had heard from someone else and accepted as truth, when in fact simple research would prove that it was false,” they said.
“As is standard on almost all films, there were numerous people involved with mixing the final product, including the editor, special effects person, composer, etc. with the senior colourist responsible for the final version’s tone, colours, and mood.”
In September, Jason Momoa showed support for Fisher’s original allegations against Whedon, claiming that “serious stuff went down” on the set of Justice League and that it should be “investigated”.
The Nevers, which stars James Norton, Eleanor Tomlinson, Olivia Williams and Nick Frost, revolves around a group of Victorian women who discover they have supernatural abilities. Filming on the series began in London, Kent and Oxfordshire in 2019, but is believed to have been interrupted by the pandemic.