Sad news for film fans around the world today, particularly those fans of the DC Comics Extended Universe (DCEU). Director Zack Snyder has announced that he is stepping down from his remaining directorial duties on Justice League after the tragic loss of his daughter.
Autumn Snyder passed away in March of 2017. Snyder kept the news secret from the press and continued working on Justice League until only recently. Discussing his loss with The Hollywood Reporter Snyder revealed that Avengers Assemble and Batgirl director Joss Whedon will take over completion of the latest DC Comics film.
“In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if that was the way through it. The demands of this job are pretty intense. It is all-consuming. And in the last two months, 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 has had a hard time from DC Comics fans who criticised his depiction of Superman in solo outing Man of Steel as well as his appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Speaking of taking the decision to make his personal tragedy public Snyder said: “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 needed to take a 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.”
Distancing himself from Justice League somewhat Snyder revealed that Whedon will be writing and directing some additional scenes for the film which were already in planning stages when the changeover took place.
“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.”
Colleagues from across the DC Universe have been quick to lend their support to Snyder and his family:
Our hearts are with the Snyder's and have been. Truly good people and friends to so many. xoxo https://t.co/Q3cLX9ihlu
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) May 22, 2017
Nothing is more important than family @ZackSnyder much love brother.
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) May 23, 2017
My heart breaks for Zack and Deb. Condolences to their family.
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) May 22, 2017
My heart, eternal support & thanks to my friend & colleague @zacksnyder – one of the kindest and most inspirational artists I've ever known.
— Geoff Johns (@geoffjohns) May 22, 2017
Thank you @ZackSnyder for leading the league with passion and creativity. We are all so sorry for your family's loss.
— jon berg (@thejonberg) May 22, 2017
I'm sure many of you have already seen this but this is just terribly sad https://t.co/5QK1t0ZLVK
— Chris McKay (@buddboetticher) May 22, 2017
— Clay Enos (@ClayEnos) May 22, 2017
My heart goes out to you, @ZackSnyder. I'm sorry for your family's loss. We all love you, sir. I'm here if you need anything.
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) May 22, 2017
Wishing Zack and Deborah some measure of peace & solace in the wake of their heartbreaking family tragedy. Love you guys
— Jim Lee (@JimLee) May 22, 2017
And love and thoughts to @ZackSnyder and family. Also, gratitude for the passion brought to the DCEU always
— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) May 23, 2017
Our thoughts are with Zack and his family at this sad time.
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Supermans selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes – Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash – it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman and Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Joining them are Jason Mamoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg, and Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash.
The film is directed by Zack Snyder from a screenplay by Chris Terrio. Justice League hits cinemas on November 17th 2017 from Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment.