Zack Snyder has told The Hollywood Reporter that he’s stepping down from his role as director of Warner Bros/DC’s ‘Justice League’ movie to deal with a family tragedy. The Avengers (2012) director Joss Whedon will complete the film that is still set for 16th of November 2017 release date.
“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.” – Zack Snyder
The filmmaker’s daughter, Autumn Snyder, died from suicide in March 2017, a tragedy the filmmaker had kept a secret until this interview.
“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 needed to take break, I knew there would be narratives created on the internet. They’ll do what they do. The truth is…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.”
An avid Chuck Palahnuik fan, Autumn was a 20 year old college student at Sarah Lawrence with a passion for writing. Zack and Deborah Snyder are hoping that the manuscript of a first-person sci-fi novel she had written before her death can be published with the proceeds being given to charity.
In regards to Justice League, Warner Bros reportedly offered Snyder the chance to delay the film, only for the director to reject the idea in favour of handing the reins to Joss Whedon who had already been hired to the project in a screenwriting capacity.
Speaking of the tragedy and Snyder’s decision to exit the project, Warner Bros president Toby Emmerich said the following:
“What they are going through is unimaginable, and my heart — our hearts — go out to them.”
Regarding the remaining aspects of the film that Snyder has passed on to Whedon, Emmerich has the following to say:
“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.”