Zack Snyder has stepped down as director of Warner Bros.’ fall tentpole film “Justice League” following a family tragedy, TheWrap has confirmed.
Joss Whedon is filling in as director to finish the film, which comes out Nov. 17. Snyder and Whedon have been collaborating for more than a month, people with knowledge of the production tell TheWrap. Whedon and Snyder have been writing new scenes for additional photography scheduled for early summer. The collaboration serves as Whedon’s entry into the DC extended film universe — Whedon has also signed on to direct a standalone “Batgirl” film.
Snyder’s daughter, Autumn Snyder, died by suicide in March at 20. Snyder and his wife, Deborah Snyder, who is a producer on “Justice League,” had initially taken a short break to mourn, returning to the production after two weeks. They are now stepping aside entirely.
“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 told The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the story. “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.”