Zack Snyder, In Midst Of Family Tragedy, Steps Down From JUSTICE LEAGUE; Passes Film To Joss Whedon

Following his daughter's tragic suicide, director Zack Snyder has decided to step down from Justice League and has passed on directing duties to Marvel's The Avengers helmer Joss Whedon.

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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, director Zack Snyder has announced his departure from Justice League. His decision comes after the tragic death of his daughter Autumn Snyder, who committed suicide this past March at the tender age of 20. 

In his statement, Snyder said: “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.

Autumn's death had been kept private within Snyder's inner circle until now as he felt hesitant to share the heartbreaking news to the hyper-reactive internet and the often fervent DC fanbase. “Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public, 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 a 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.” He continues on to share his new perspective. “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."

Joss Whedon (The Avengers) has written and will direct additional scenes for the film, which will shoot in London this summer. Snyder recently screened a rough cut for fellow filmmakers and friends and decided on adding a few new scenes, bringing Whedon on board to pen them, but ultimately decided it wasn't the right time for him to leave his mourning family. In lieu of a release delay, which was discussed, Snyder brought on Whedon to complete the project.

Warner Bros. president Toby Emmerich elaborates a bit further on the new schedule. “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.

Our hearts go out to Mr. Snyder and his family. 

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Justice League will feature:
Director: Zack Snyder
Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman
Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Amy Adams as Lois Lane
Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash
Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman
Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth
Diane Lane as Martha Kent
J.K. Simmons as Commissioner James Gordon
Billy Crudup as Dr. Henry Allen
Kiersey Clemons as Iris West
Amber Heard as Mera
Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko
Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta
Joe Morton as Dr. Silas Stone
Julian Lewis Jones in an undisclosed role
Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf

Justice League unites in theaters November 17
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