Zack will be stepping down from directing and producing Justice League to grieve the loss of his daughter. Snyder’s 20 year old daughter, Autumn, committed suicide in March and the family never had real time to heal due to the filming of Justice League. Snyder revealed this in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter stating, “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. 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.”
Snyder brought on Whedon to write some additional scenes for the movie after a he screened a rough cut of Justice League to some close friends. The shooting would have taken him to England but Snyder decided now would be the wrong time to leave the country after the tragedy of his daughters death. Warner Bros. studios offered to push back the release date of the movie in order to give Zack and his wife, producer Deborah Snyder, some time to be with their family but Zack wouldn’t have it. Instead he gave the helm to Whedon in order to finish up the filming and post-production of Justice League. Just because Joss Whedon is coming on to finish the movie doesn’t mean we will be getting an entirely new movie. According to Warner Bros. Pictures President Toby Emmerich, “The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set,” he said. “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.”
Whedon has experience with big budget super hero team-ups; he directed both Avengers films, each raking in over $1 billion dollars. He is also tapped to write and direct the Batgirl film for Warner Bros in the near future. This will be a good introduction for Whedon into the DC extended universe, even if it is a small role. Snyder needs this time to be with his family and he couldn’t have left Justice League in better hands.
Justice League is set to reach theaters November 10, 2017