Justice League director Zack Snyder and producer Deborah Snyder have announced they are stepping away from post-production & upcoming reshoots for the superhero film following the tragic suicide of their daughter Autumn, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Autumn Snyder took her life in March, but the family kept the news private, only a select small circle aware of the tragedy. A two-week break was taken during the filming at the time with Zack returning to work afterwards, but quickly he realized that he needed to spend time with his family in the wake of this tragedy.
“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,” Zack told THR. “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.”
After screening a rough version of the film for friends and other filmmakers, Zack decided that additional scenes were needed so he brought in Joss Whedon to help him write those scenes. Realizing that new filming would mean going back to London away from their families, the Snyders made the decision to take a break for their family.
While Warner Bros. floated the idea of delaying the film, the Snyders declined that option. In order to meet the Snyders’ wishes for the film to remain on target, Whedon will be stepping in to handle post-production and the directing of additional scenes for the film that will begin shooting soon.
“The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set,” said Warner Bros. Pictures President Toby 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.”
Because they knew that they were choosing to take a break and the internet would run wild with speculation, the couple decided to go public with news of their family tragedy.
“Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public,” Zack 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.”
Justice League opens on November 17.