Film director Zack Snyder has confirmed that he will be stepping down from behind the camera of upcoming movie Justice League, slated for a November 2017 release, in the wake of his daughter Autumn's suicide. Producer Deborah Snyder, Zack's wife, will also be exiting the work to focus on their family.
Joss Whedon, the director of The Avengers (2012) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), will be crossing from Marvel's Cinematic Universe to DC's to finish reshoots, do rewrites, and oversee post-production. Whedon was originally brought on board to work on a Batgirl film. Principal photography wrapped in October 2016.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Snyder said he was originally eager to return to the film, stating, “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.” Upon realising he needed reshoots—and that the reshoots would take place in England—he reconsidered: “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.”
He added that he had not intended on making his tragedy public, but decided to set the record straight. “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.”
Autumn Snyder ended her life in March. She was 20. Autumn—the creator of the Write-a-Thon charity—had completed a science fiction manuscript before her death. Her parents are hoping to publish it and donate the proceeds to charity.
Warner Bros. Pictures supported Snyder's decision to take a break. President Toby Emmerich said, “What they are going through is unimaginable, and my heart—our hearts—go out to them.”
Justice League is DC's equivalent of an Avengers film, bringing together superheroes Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) in a fight against supervillain Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds).
The DC Cinematic Universe began with Snyder, who directed Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Additional entries include last year's Suicide Squad and the upcoming Wonder Woman, helmed by Monster (2003) director Petty Jenkins.
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