Zack Snyder has stepped down as director of Warner Bros.’ Fall tentpole “Justice League” following a family tragedy, TheWrap has confirmed.
Joss Whedon is filling in as director to finish the film which comes out November 17. Snyder and Whedon have been collaborating together for more than a month, persons with knowledge of the production tell TheWrap. Whedon and Snyder have been writing new scenes for additional photography scheduled for early summer. The collaboration serves as Whedon’s entrance into the DC extended universe — Whedon has also signed on to direct a standalone “Batgirl” film.
Snyder’s daughter, Autumn Snyder, died by suicide in March at age 20. Snyder and his wife Deborah Snyder, who is a producer on “Justice League,” had initially taken a short break to mourn, returning to the production after two weeks. They are now steeping aside entirely.
“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, which first reported the story. “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.”