According to The Hollywood Reporter, Zack Snyder will be stepping away from directing Justice League following a terrible personal tragedy. While the news was not made public at the time, Snyder’s daughter Autumn, a student at Sarah Lawrence College, committed suicide in March. Due to this devastating loss, the DC powerhouse and his wife and fellow Justice League producer Deborah Snyder will be taking a leave of absence for the remainder of the project to spend time with their seven other children and step-children.
While they took a two-week hiatus from filming immediately following Autumn’s death, Snyder and his wife came to the decision to step away from the project completely after a brief attempt to get back to work. He told THR,
“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.”
Luckily, Snyder’s employers at DC and Warner Brothers were amenable to his leave of absence and have brought on Batgirl director Joss Whedon to finish up the film. According to Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich, the film is largely completed and will remain on track for its November release date.
“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.”
In the wake of such tragic circumstances, we truly hope that the Snyder family can find healing and comfort in the days to come.