Zack Snyder, who is best known for directing Watchmen and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, has stepped down from directing DC Comics latest blockbuster Justice League following the tragic death of his daughter, Autumn, who committed suicide in March. She was 20.
The director and his wife Deborah Snyder, who is a producer on the film, are both taking a break to mourn, and Zack spoke about his decision to step down during an interview with Hollywood Reporter. "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," he said. "The demands of this job are pretty intense. It is all-consuming. And in the last two months, I've come to the realisation… 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."
Zack's daughter Autumn was just 20
Deborah added that her step-daughter had loved to "write, to write, to write," and had completed a fantasy novel before her death. Speaking about her book, that Zack and Deborah would like to see published, Zack said: "In the end, she didn't make it, but her character does, and I think there would be something cathartic for people." Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich has spoken in support of Zack's decision to step away from the film, saying: "The studio is fully behind the move. What they are going through is unimaginable, and my heart — our hearts — go out to them." Joss Whedon, who is best known for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer and directing the first two Avengers films, has stepped in to work on the film post-production and to shoot additional scenes.
Toby added: "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 the 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."