Director Zack Snyder Leaves 'Justice League' Because of a Family Tragedy

Monday, 22 May 2017 - 8:41PM
DC Comics
Justice League
Monday, 22 May 2017 - 8:41PM
Director Zack Snyder Leaves 'Justice League' Because of a Family Tragedy
Warner Bros.
While Warner Bros. and DC's enormous Justice League film is midway through completion, director Zack Snyder has made the decision to step away from the movie, following the passing of his daughter last month. Taking his place to see the movie through to completion is Joss Whedon, the filmmaker behind Marvel's The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Snyder explained his decision was a tough one, as he initially wanted to return to work while the news was kept private. But he and his wife Deborah Snyder, a producer on the film, have since made the understandable decision to go be with their family, since filming Justice League is such an intense time commitment. His twenty year-old daughter, Autumn Snyder, tragically committed suicide in March. 

Here's Snyder's full statement:

Opening quote
"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."
Closing quote


The studio has thankfully been supportive. Warner Bros. president Toby Emmerich said their hearts go out to the Snyders at this time, and that the film will still ultimately be Snyder's creation:

Opening quote
"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 the 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."
Closing quote


Whedon's involvement will likely be minimal, as at this point in production, reshoots are all that's really necessary. Emmerich said that Whedon will be reshooting scenes while keeping Snyder's style and voice, so it's unlikely that the film will change much from the tone we saw in the trailer, and it certainly shouldn't feel like an Avengers movie. Snyder has essentially defined the DCEU's gritty direction since it's beginnings, having also directed Man of Steel and Batman v Superman.

Despite the change of hands, Justice League is not delayed as of now, and is still on track to hit theaters November 17, 2017.
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