Credit: Warner Bros.
Director Zack Snyder and producer Deborah Snyder have stepped down from finishing reshoots and post-production work on Justice League following the death of the director's daughter from a previous marriage in March. Avengers director Joss Whedon will take the lead in finishing the film, which is still on track for a November 17 release.
Snyder's 20-year-old daughter, Autumn Snyder, died by suicide in March, a fact only revealed publicly with the announcement that the director would be stepping back from the production to focus on his family in the wake of the 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 way through it,” Snyder told The Hollywood Reporter
. “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.”
According to the Hollywood trade, Warner Bros. initially wanted to delay the release of the film, but Zack and Deborah Snyder agreed the film should continue on its original timeframe. Whedon was first brought on to write additional scenes Snyder decided to add with reshoots after early screenings of Justice League, and then took over entirely when Snyder decided to step back.
Snyder also said he never planned to make the changes public, but decided to speak out to quell possible rumors of turmoil at Warner Bros. if the news were to leak.
“Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public,” Snyder explained. “I thought it would just be in the family, a private matter, our private sorrow that we would deal with. When it became obvious that I need to take break, I knew there would be narratives created on the internet. They’ll do what they do. The truth it…I’m past caring about that kind of thing now. 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."
Justice League is due out in theaters November 17.