According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Zack Snyder has announced that he’s stepping down from the Justice League movie so he can spend time with his family in the wake of his 20-year-old daughter Autumn’s suicide in March. Snyder and his family have been keeping details about her death private, with a recent two-week hiatus on Justice League production the only indication that something had happened. Snyder told The Hollywood Reporter that he was initially eager to get back to work, thinking that it would be “a cathartic thing” to just put everything he had into finishing the movie so he could “see if that was a way through it,” but over the last two months he realized that he had to “take a step back” and spend time with his family instead.
Warner Bros. is “fully behind” his decision, with THR noting that the studio initially offered to simply push back the film’s release date until Snyder was ready, but he and his wife—producer Deborah Snyder—didn’t want to do that. Instead, Avengers director Joss Whedon is stepping in to complete Snyder’s post-production work and film some extra footage. Whedon had come on board to write additional scenes that Snyder wanted to add after editing together a rough cut of the movie, but when it came time to film those scenes in England, Snyder couldn’t bring himself to leave home. Whedon is directing those new scenes, but Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich explains that “the directing is minimal” and that it will “adhere to the style and tone and the template” that Snyder set with the rest of the movie.
Justice League is still set for a November 17 release date.