"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," HBO said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. HBO gave a straight-to-series order to The Nevers, a sci-fi drama starring Laura Donnelly about Victorian women with superpowers, in July 2018 after a bidding war with Netflix. The Nevers was the first show Whedon created or co-created since Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Whedon, who was also set to serve as showrunner and director, issued his own statement explaining his departure. "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 said in his statement. "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." Longtime Whedon collaborators Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie are still on board as producers and writers. Whedon's exit comes amid a controversy involving Justice League actor Ray Fisher accusing Whedon of "abusive, unprofessional" behavior while directing Justice League reshoots for Warner Bros.