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Zack Snyder Leaves 'Justice League' To Joss Whedon After Family Tragedy

I can't imagine what it would be like to throw myself into my work to find some normalcy amid the loss of a child. It's an incomprehensible situation every parent dreads in the furthest reaches of their minds. Sadly, it became a reality for Zack and Deborah Snyder. After trying to cope with the emotional devastation, the Snyders have decided to step away from 'Justice League' as it enters post-production.  Filmmaker and director of the recently announced 'Batgirl' film Joss Whedon will complete the project in the Snyder's absence.


The Hollywood Reporter revealed in an interview with the Snyders that Zack's 20-year old daughter, Autumn, took her own life back in March. Production was put on a two-week break to give the Snyders some time to deal with the sudden tragedy. Only a small number of people close to them knew about their loss in order to keep it private. The overwhelming pain led Zack back to work to seek some distraction as a way to cope. 

“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 said, with his wife Deborah sitting by his side. “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.”

“What they are going through is unimaginable, and my heart — our hearts — go out to them,” says Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich. The studio was more than willing to accommodate the grieving parents offering to move the release date so Zack could finish the film himself. He refused and left the project in the veteran hands of Whedon who'll do some planned reshoots.Whedon was brought in initially to write more scenes after Zack saw a rough cut of 'Justice League.'

“The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set,” says Emmerich. “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.”

It's a sad commentary on our society that the decision to go public with this deeply personal heartache was in part to quell any potential distortions from online critics. Snyder has garnered a segment of detractors on social media that he feared would twist the reason for his departure.

“Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public,” Snyder said. “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 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.”

Autumn was attending Sarah Lawrence College and was Zack's daughter from his first marriage, to Denise Snyder. He also raises seven children and step-children with Deborah. “I want the movie to be amazing, and I’m a fan, but that all pales pretty quickly in comparison," he says. “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."

Justice League is still scheduled to be released on November 17, 2017.


SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter


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