Director Zack Snyder announced he’s stepping away from finishing the superhero movie ‘Justice League’ to spend time with his family after his daughter’s suicide.
A couple of months after the filmmaker’s daughter committed suicide, he has decided to take a break from work. A source said on Monday that director Joss Whedon – director of Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ and of DC’s upcoming film adaptation ‘Batgirl’ – was hired to finish the Warner Bros. pic, as it is still set to premiere on November 17, but needs some additional shooting and extensive post-production work.
“I’ve decided to take a step back from the movie to be with my family, be with my kids, who really need me,” Snyder said.
Snyder’s wife and producing partner Deborah Snyder will also step away from the film. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said they will be using the time away to focus on their family and seven children.
According to The Reporter story, Snyder’s daughter Autumn, who was 20 years old, killed herself on March 12. Coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter said that her death is being investigated as a possible suicide due to an overdose of prescription medications. Officially, the cause of death has been deferred pending toxicology results.
Soon after the tragedy, Snyder tried to get back to work
After Autumn’s death, production on ‘Justice League’ was put on pause for two weeks for the Snyders to deal with the tragedy, but the director tried to throw himself back into work. “In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to bury myself and see if that was way through it,” he told THR.
But in the past two months, he realised he needed to be with his family. “They are all having a hard time. I’m having a hard time,” Snyder said.
He was planning to shoot the additional ‘Justice League’ scenes, which are scheduled to film in England. Instead, he decided to stay home. “I never planned to make this public,” he said of his daughter’s death. “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 it…I’m past caring about that kind of thing now.”
Toby Emmerich, president of Warner Bros. Pictures, told THR that the additional scenes will keep the style and template set by Snyder.
The director said that he knows fans will be worried about the film, but “in the end, it’s just a movie. It’s a great movie. But it’s just a movie,” he added.
His daughter Autumn was attending Sarah Lawrence College at the time of her death. Deborah shared that Autumn had recently finished a manuscript for a sci-fi fantasy novel that her family would like to publish one day and give the proceeds to charity. “In the end, she didn’t make it, but her character does and I think there would be something cathartic for people,” she said.