Director Zack Snyder and his wife, producer Deborah Snyder, are leaving the production of Justice League on the heels of a family tragedy. Joss Whedon will be stepping in to complete the film, which is still set to come out on November 17, 2017.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Zack and Deborah opened up about their 20-year-old daughter, Autum, who committed suicide in March. Although they intended to complete film, the Snyders decided that that needed time to heal in the wake of this heartbreaking loss.
“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,” Zack Snyder told THR. “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.”
Whedon, who of course directed The Avengers and its 2015 sequel, is helming the film’s post production and will add a few additional scenes. He’s also attached to direct a Batgirl film set in the DC Extended Universe. So it’s safe to say that he was the natural choice to fill in for Zack.
“The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set,” Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich informed THR. “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.”
Our hearts go out to Zack and Deborah Snyder.