Joss Whedon Exits His New Show On HBO Max; Ray Fisher Claims It’s Due To WB Investigation
There is so much drama unfolding around Justice League, that it’s dizzying. While the release of the actual Justice League Snyder Cut is exciting, the alleged turmoil behind the scenes of the movie’s theatrical version is awful to hear about. While Zack Snyder is getting to complete his vision, his replacement, Joss Whedon, is having a difficult time completing his own. Whedon was all set to debut his brand new original series on HBO titled The Nevers. However, there is a new report about how Joss Whedon leaves The Nevers, citing personal reasons. Ray Fisher commented on the move, describing it as part of the fall-out of his own allegations against Whedon and the WB executives during the Justice League reshoots.
It All Begins As Joss Whedon Leaves The Nevers
Image via The WB.
Joss Whedon is, for the most part, a huge name in geekdom. Revamping how we look at procedural genre series with Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, he was very influential in the industry. He also created Firefly, one of the most beloved sci-fi series of all time with a cult following. Whedon then went on to direct the first two Avengers movies, as well as taking over for Zack Snyder in the theatrical Justice League. Which is where a lot of his issues began.
After creating all these awesome shows, and also co-creating the amazing Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Whedon was set to return with a brand new original series, The Nevers. The show is one of Whedon’s first original creations in a long time. So it was kind of a big deal. It was right up his alley too about a group of Victorian-era women who begin to develop powers. A massive bidding war happened over the show, with HBO winning in the end with a series order. Now, a CinemaBlend report states that Joss Whedon leaves The Nevers due to his personal issues.
Joss Whedon Leave The Nevers Amidst A Current Ongoing Scandal
Image via Warner Bros.
Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in Justice League, that Whedon took over for Snyder, targeted Whedon. Earlier this summer, Fisher accused Whedon, along with executives Geoff Johns of creating a hostile work environment during the Justice League reshoots. Over the months, Fisher’s claims got more specific, with allegations about misconduct, racism, coercion, and straight-up lying about situations. For instance, the news of a fake Frosty movie starring Jason Momoa to take attention away from Fisher’s allegations.
More recently, in a Forbes interview Fisher stated how Whedon and Johns systematically worked towards the erasure of minorities in the revised Justice League. After his allegations, it almost does seem clear that many people of color had their storylines changed, or appearances removed altogether in the theatrical cut. Fisher himself was the biggest to get his storyline axed, along with Karen Bryson who played his mother, and Joe Morton who played his father. Kiersey Clemons, who played Iris West and love interest of The Flash, didn’t make it into the final cut either.
Both HBO And Whedon’s Reasons For His Departing The Nevers
“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’s statement about Whedon’s departure seems oddly brief and succinct. While Whedon’s statement provides more background and information as to why he’s departed his own project at the last minute. Part of his statement is below.
Image via Gage Skidmore.
“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.”
— Joss Whedon
This is not the first time that Whedon had issues during a production that affected him personally. Whedon described the making Avengers: Age Of Ultron, a ‘nightmare’ working within an expanded universe. So it definitely lines up with his previous behavior. However, new allegations from Fisher describes the real reason for Joss Whedon leaving The Nevers.
Ray Fisher Tweets Again
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
In a recent Tweet, Fisher describes that Joss Whedon leaving The Nevers has more to do with WB’s investigation into his claims about the issues during Justice League. Warner Media owns HBO, as well as Warner Bros, the studio behind Justice League. So Whedon’s exit may stem from the results of that investigation. This could easily be a way for them to both save face, by Whedon stepping down for his own reasons, than be fired by Warner Media. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time something similar has happened.
During the #MeToo movement, Whedon came under attack from his ex-wife. Known for creating strong female leads and being a feminist himself, Whedon’s ex-wife made allegations of infidelity and emotional abuse in their marriage. After which, an old Wonder Woman script by Whedon surfaced, showing how he wrote the iconic comic book character with a very blatant male gaze. At the time, Whedon was all set to do a Batgirl film for Warner Bros. But after these allegations, he quietly stepped away, citing a creative inability to crack the character.
It should be clear that, as far as we can tell, Fisher is not involved with the investigation, and his statement amounts to (at best) speculation.
Time Will Tell When It Comes to Fisher Vs. Whedon
Image via Fox
With all the stories out in the public right now about Justice League, Whedon and Fisher, it seems unlikely that we’ll get a clear picture of what’s going on, until that Warner Media investigation is complete. It seems unlikely that Whedon would so willingly walk away from a series he created and actively developed himself. Unless there were mitigating circumstances, or an underlying health concern that we may be unaware of. Which could easily be the easiest explanation in these situations. Being a show runner is emotionally and physically taxing. And with the new challenges of Covid, there are additional concerns.
However, there is merit to Fisher’s claims as well, given that the timing of Whedon’s departure is definitely coicidental. And thus far, Fisher has been very calculating in what he says, and continues to claims that he has the ‘receipts’ to all his claims. Indeed, time will tell how this all shakes out.
For now, stay tuned to this space for more news on Ray Fisher’s allegations against Whedon and others.
Why do you think Joss Whedon left The Nevers? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image via.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.