Zack Snyder with the cast of Justice League

Zack Snyder Steps Down From ‘Justice League’ After Daughter’s Suicide And Is Replaced By Joss Whedon

Zack Snyder won’t be involved in the upcoming Justice League movie any longer. The Man of Steel director has made the decision to step away from the film to recuperate from the tragic loss of his daughter, according to Variety. Deborah Snyder, a producer of the film and Zack Snyder’s wife, has also decided to step down from the project. Joss Whedon has now been chosen to take over from Snyder. The Avengers director will oversee the reshoots for Justice League, which is set to be released on November 17 this year.

Autumn Snyder, the daughter of Zack Snyder, committed suicide in March. She was 20-years-old at the time of her death. Autumn Snyder’s death was initially kept private, with Zack Snyder keen on finishing his work on the Justice League film after having been given a two-week break following his daughter’s suicide, reports the Hollywood Reporter. Snyder supposedly believed that returning to directing could offer him some sort of distraction from this family tragedy.

However, the film director, who rose to fame with his work in Dawn of the Dead and 300, soon realized that he was in no state of mind to continue his work on Justice League.

“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,” said Snyder in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. Snyder further stated that he was not fit to cope with the pressure and intensity of directing in his current mental state. Moreover, he seemed to have come to the conclusion that he needed to spend more time with his family in this time of sorrow.

Joss Whedon speaks at ComicCon
Joss Whedon will replace Zack Snyder after the death of his daughter [Image by Chris Pizzello/AP Images]

“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.”

Snyder went on to explain that he needed to set his priorities straight. And while the director is clearly invested in his work on Justice League, he also acknowledged that it was, ultimately, “just a movie.” Toby Emmerich, the president of Warner Bros. Pictures, also released a statement in support of Snyder’s family.

“What they are going through is unimaginable, and my heart — our hearts — go out to them,” said Emmerich.

While Justice League had already completed principle photography, Zack Snyder was still supposed to supervise the post-production process before the death of his daughter. As previously mentioned, Whedon will now take over Snyder’s duties in order to avoid postponing the release date of the film, something the studio was initially prepared to do. Snyder, however, insisted on honoring the original release date for Justice League.

In Joss Whedon, Warner Bros. Pictures has, arguably, found the perfect replacement for Snyder under these tragic circumstances. Whedon, who is known for his films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was previously rumored to direct a standalone Batgirl movie. Furthermore, the 52-year-old director has a marvelous reputation among comic book fans and all of his previous superhero projects have been well received thus far.

More importantly, fans will be hoping that Whedon’s switch from the MCU to the DC Extended Universe will give the franchise some much-needed freshness. Justice League, starring, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, and Jason Momoa, will be the fifth installment in the DCEU. The previous films in the franchise have often been criticized for their grim and overly gritty tone, as well as a lack of humor. The initial reception for Wonder Woman, which hits the big screen on June 2, has been overwhelmingly positive, though.

It remains to be seen how much of an impact Joss Whedon’s involvement will have on the final version of the Justice League movie.

[Featured Image by Eric Charbonneau/AP Images]