Zack Snyder, who has been an integral part of a number of DC’s most ambitious film projects, is stepping down from Justice League due to a family tragedy.
“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 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,” said the emotional Snyder on the Warner Bros. lot, which means Snyder will be handing the reins over to Avengers director and writer Joss Whedon, who will ferry the project through its remaining post-production stage before its November 17th release later this year.
A few days ago, Snyder’s daughter Autumn Snyder committed suicide at the age of 20, with only a small inner circle aware of what happened. Although Snyder was initially eager to return to the film featuring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller, the news reveals that even the movie was put on a two-week break for the Snyders to deal with the immediate effects of the tragedy.
The studio also seems to be with Snyder on the matter as Warner Bros Pictures president Toby Emmerich said, “What they are going through is unimaginable, and my heart — our hearts — go out to them.”
“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,” Snyder said to sooth his awaiting fans.
However, this isn’t the first time that Warner Bros has had to deal with such circumstances during affecting a high-profile DC movie. Prior to the release of The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger passed away after shooting had wrapped in 2008, when the tragedy put the studio and filmmaker Christopher Nolan in a very delicate position of balancing mourning with the demands of releasing a tentpole.l