Zack Snyder and his wife Deborah have stepped down from production on Justice League.
Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, the director revealed that they have taken the decision to spend time with their family following the death of their 20-year old daughter in March. He revealed that he originally planned on continuing work on the movie, and not making the tragic news public.
“Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public. I thought it would just be in the family, a private matter, our private sorrow that we would deal with.
“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. 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.”
The Avengers director Joss Whedon will take over to helm the movie through post-production and any additional scenes that need shooting. Whedon was originally brought on board to write additional scenes, however with filming taking place in London, Snyder decided against being away with his family, leaving Whedon to now direct the new scenes. With his involvement, the movie is still on course to meet it’s planned November 17 release.
Warner Bros. President Toby Emmerich says that he and the studio are fully behind the decision, while also assuring that there will not be any major upheaval of the movie in the director’s absence;
“What they are going through is unimaginable, and my heart — our hearts — go out to them…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 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.”
Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher head up the movie’s cast.