Zack Snyder is stepping down from directing Justice League in order to deal with a family tragedy. According to reports, his wife and co-producer will also be stepping down, after Snyder’s 20-year-old daughter, Autumn, committed suicide in March.
Production for Justice League was put on a two-week break to allow the movie’s director and his family to grieve. Ultimately, the couple decided they needed to take a step back from working and focus on their family.
Snyder explained, “In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if that was way through it. The demands of this job are pretty intense. It is all consuming. And in the last two months I’ve come to the realization …I’ve decided to take a step back from the movie to be with my family, be with my kids, who really need me. They are all having a hard time. I’m having a hard time.”
Originally, Warner Bros. wanted to push the release date, but Snyder hose against it. He will also be able to work on other projects when he returns to the studio.
Justice League is currently in post-production and the rest of the directing will be left in the hands of Joss Whedon, who signed on to direct Batgirl, just 10 days after Snyder’s daughter passed away.
Whedon will be responsible for writing and shooting a few additional scenes that Snyder wanted to include in the movie.
Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich explained, “The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set. We’re not introducing any new characters. It’s the same characters in some new scenes. He’s handing a baton to Joss but the course has really been set by Zack. I still believe that despite this tragedy, we’ll still end up with a great movie.”
Snyder is proud of his new movie and wants it to do well, that said, family ones first, which is why he hopes fans will understand his decision.
"Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public. I thought it would just be in the family, a private matter, our private sorrow that we would deal with. When it became obvious that I need to take break, I knew there would be narratives created on the internet. They’ll do what they do. The truth it…I’m past caring about that kind of thing now.
I want the movie to be amazing and I’m a fan, but that all pales pretty quickly in comparison. I know the fans are going to be worried about the movie but there are seven other kids that need me. In the end, it’s just a movie. It’s a great movie. But it’s just a movie."
I cannot imagine what Snyder is going through. Hopefully, time off will help put the world into perspective for Snyder and his family.