The post-Marvel malaise of one Joss Whedon is finally concluding. That’s because Whedon, Marvel Studios’ former embattled directorial fulcrum on the first two Avengers films, will return to television, the medium on which he became a legend. Moreover, Whedon’s new project, titled The Nevers, will have a most promising platform in HBO.
The Nevers has already received a straight-to-series order, with Whedon onboard to juggle duties as writer, director and executive producer, reports THR. According to the trade’s sources, the project’s acquisition by premium cable outlet HBO was the culmination of a bidding war amongst a group of high-profile platforms that included Netflix.
Now Whedon, the small screen maestro who turned a campy movie into the beloved Buffy The Vampire Slayer television franchise, will return to the medium for The Nevers.
The Nevers plot
The show is described as a science fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who gain “unusual abilities” and subsequently use their powers to fight “relentless enemies” and engage in missions with global implications.
The Nevers cast
Laura Donnelly (pictured in the title image,) has nabbed the starring role on The Nevers, reports Deadline. She will play Amalia True, described as “the most reckless, impulsive, emotionally damaged hero of her time. A menace to stuffy Victorian society, she would die for the cause and kill for a drink.”
Besides being an accomplished actress on stage, the Belfast-born Donnelly is best known from her role as Jenny Fraser on Starz’s Outlander. She’s also appeared on Britannia, miniseries Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands, The Fall, Merlin and had an American television run on the short-lived 2012 ABC drama series, Missing.
Whedon said the following about the casting:
“Laura Donnelly has charisma, wisdom and an anarchic precision that not only captures Amalia but defines her. She’s fierce and she’s funny – and I need both for the journey ahead.”
Where can I watch The Nevers?
In the US, on HBO, a partnership about which Whedon has said:
“I honestly couldn’t be more excited. The Nevers is maybe the most ambitious narrative I’ve created, and I can’t imagine a better home for it than HBO. Not only are they the masters of cinematic longform, but their instant understanding of my odd, intimate epic was as emotional as it was incisive. It’s been too long since I created an entirely new fictional world, and the HBO team offer not just scope and experience, not just ‘prestige,’ but a passionate collaboration. I could go on, but — I’m impatiently grateful to say — I have work to do.”
Here in the UK, a broadcaster is yet to be confirmed, but we’ll keep you posted.
The Nevers creator
Whedon first cemented his reputation as a staff writer on Roseanne and Parenthood before his star-making vehicles running Buffy The Vampire Slayer, its spinoff, Angel, along with the martyred fan-favourite sci-fi Western series, Firefly, as well as the cult comedy musical, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, all before the opportunity to direct 2012 Marvel mega-movie The Avengers came along. However, after his Marvel tenure imploded with the tumultuous production of 2015’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron, he took a hiatus, eventually drifting back onto the comic book movie scene, touted as the director of Warner’s upcoming DC Extended Universe offering, Batgirl… until he dropped out.
For Whedon, The Nevers marks a monumental comeback to television. While he’s always been involved in the medium in some capacity, notably brandishing credit as an executive producer on ABC’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., his work on the HBO series represents his first proper hands-on small screen tenure since his short-lived 2009 Fox sci-fi series, Dollhouse.
We will keep you updated on The Nevers as things develop.