We’d like to joke and poke fun at how the term “creative differences” gets used a lot as a reason why a director walks out on a project. But there are times where it’s for reasons other than that. Sometimes, it’s very personal. For Zack Snyder, he’s stepping away from directing Justice League to be with his family after his daughter, Autumn Snyder, committed suicide in March. More on the story below and how it will affect the post-production of the Justice League.
The news comes to us from a very revealing interview with THR. Both Zack Snyder and his wife, Deborah Snyder – who is also a producer on the film – will be taking a break to focus on their family. Though Autumn had committed suicide back in March, the two decided to keep the news private. In fact, the filmmaker never intended to make the news 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 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.”
While tragic, the loss has helped him gain a new perspective and new focus. He told THR that as a fan he wants the film to be great. However, you are forced to re-prioritize when a situation like this hits this close to home. “In the end, it’s just a movie. It’s a great movie. But it’s just a movie,” he said.
Snyder thought it would be cathartic for him to go back to work after his daughter’s death. But because of the demands of the job, he decided it was best to take a step back. Replacing him will be Avengers director Joss Whedon, who recently signed on to direct Batgirl, and this is a decision that Warner Bros. Pictures reportedly fully supports. Such a loss is unfathomable. The studio is also extending Snyder’s first-look deal to give him time to work on other planned projects when he returns to work.
Whedon was originally brought in to write some additional scenes after Snyder showed a very rough cut of the film to friends and family. The Snyder ultimately decided against shooting additional footage. While there is a new face as director, Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich assures that this is still very much Zack Snyder’s film.
“The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set,” Emmerich told THR. “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.”
Head over to The Hollywood Reporter for the full story.