Zack Snyder will be stepping down as director of Justice League as the film enters its final reshoots due to a personal tragedy.
THR reports that the Batman V Superman director announced his decision with his wife and producer Deborah Snyder, who will also be stepping away from her role on the DC superhero moives. They will be leaving the production to spend time with their family following the death of their daughter, who took her own life in March this year.
Warner Bros had offered to push the release of the film back and supported their decision to return to work, but a decision has been reached to move away from the demands of the production, which would have taken them back to London for the upcoming reshoots.
“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 Zack Snyder. “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.”
Joss Whedon, who is working on Warner Bros and DC’s upcoming Batgirl movie, will be overseeing the final reshoots. Snyder had brought Whedon onto the film to write these additional scenes and Warner Bros president Toby Emmerich explained that:
“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.”
The THR report includes some frank and moving quotes from the Snyders about their attempts to keep working, their decision to make the information about their daughter public, and about their daughter Autumn. Filmmakers and collaborators including Patty Jenkins, James Gunn and James Wan have expressed their condolences, and our thoughts are with the Snyders as they go through this tragedy.