Filmmaker Zack Snyder has announced that he will be stepping away from Justice League in the wake of his daughter’s death. Autumn Snyder died by suicide in March at age 20.
Stepping in to finish the highly anticipated DC film will be Joss Whedon, who had previously worked as writer and director of Marvel’s Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Whedon will take over the film through the end of post-production, overseeing additional photography that had already been planned by Synder.
Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich said Monday, “The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and template that Zack set. We’re not introducing any new characters. It’s the same characters in some new scenes. He’s handing the baton to Joss, but the course has really been set by Zack.”
After a two week hiatus to cope with the family tragedy, Snyder had planned on returning to work, flying out to London for reshoots, but ultimately found the prospect insurmountable. Snyder told The Hollywood Reporter, “In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if that was the way through it. The demands of the 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.”
Snyder had originally planned on keeping his daughter’s death private, but knew in today’s Internet age, it would be best to set the record straight, lest DC fans construct their own narrative.
Justice League, starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Justin Momoa, and Ezra Miller, is still set to be released on its originally planned date, November 17.