This is just terrible news. Zack Snyder has dropped out of the “Justice League” movie, which is bad enough on its own. But it’s the reason for his departure that is truly heartbreaking. Snyder and his wife Deborah, who is a producer on the film, recently lost their daughter Autumn to suicide. She was just 20. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the tragic incident took place 2 months ago, and Snyder had been valiantly trying to continue work until now.
He told THR: “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… 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.”
Snyder revealed that he tried his best to keep the matter private, but in light of him being in charge of such a public property, he had to speak up: “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. 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 is, I’m past caring about that kind of thing now. I want the movie to be amazing and I’m a fan, but that all pales pretty quickly in comparison. 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.”
That is of course admirable and no one in their right mind would fault Snyder for putting his family first in a time like this. No parent should have to bury their own child, and as a parent myself, I can only imagine the immense pain the Snyders have been going through. My heart goes out to the Snyder family and I hope they are able to heal together as a family.
For Warner Bros, the show still has to go on, and to that end, THR broke the news that the studio has hired “Avengers” director Joss Whedon to compete “Justice League”. The man will now have the distinction of working on both Marvel and DC’s biggest properties. Whedon will oversee the post-production process which is currently underway. Reshoots that were already built into the schedule are also underway, and Whedon will also direct that. THR also claims that he was brought in earlier to give the script a polish for some additional scenes.
Anticipating the inevitable fanboy speculation that Whedon’s hand in this will change the film dramatically, WB President Toby Emmerich made a statement: “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.”
Whedon was previously revealed as the writer and director of DC Films’ upcoming “Batgirl” movie. It’s unknown at this point if his duties here will impact that movie, but Whedon is committed to finishing “Justice League” in time for its 10th November release.
“Justice League” features a screenplay from Chris Terrio from a story by Snyder and Terrio, stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, with J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. While not in the official Justice League cast list released by Warner Bros., it is expected that Ciarán Hinds will play Steppenwolf, Amber Heard will appear as Mera, and Kiersey Clemons will appear as Iris West.