Joss Whedon is headed back to television. Variety reports that HBO has ordered a series called The Nevers, which he will write and direct. It will be about a “gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities,” and who will face off against “relentless enemies.”
The announcement comes as HBO is figuring out what will follow its blockbuster fantasy show Game of Thrones, which is scheduled to air its final season in 2019. The network has seen critical success but a ratings drop for its science fiction show Westworld. Several Game of Thrones spin-off shows are in the works, with a pilot order for a prequel already moving forward. But several other projects are in the works or under development as well, indicating that the network is covering its bases rather than looking to one key series to fill the Game of Thrones gap with. Whedon describes The Nevers as an “odd, intimate epic,” and notes that he thinks that the show is “maybe the most ambitious narrative” he’s created. He says the network has a track record as “masters of cinematic long-form” stories.
Whedon is the creator of the previous TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse. Alongside Maurissa Tancharoen and his brother Jed Whedon, he co-created the Marvel series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but Nevers would be his first solo TV project since Dollhouse in 2009. In addition to directing Serenity, a sequel film to Firefly, he helmed Marvel’s Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and took over directing duties for Zack Snyder on Justice League. He signed on to direct a Batgirl film for Warner Bros, but later left that project, stating that he didn’t have a solid story for it.