Due to an unexpected death in his family, Zack Snyder has decided to take a step back from the highly anticipated Warner Bros./DC Comics team-up, Justice League.
The filmmaker's daughter, Autumn Snyder, committed suicide in March at the age of 20. Her sudden death has been kept fairly private to the family's inner circle.
"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," an emotional Snyder said on Monday during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
Zack's wife, Deborah Snyder, who is a producer on the DC superhero film, has also decided to take a break from production. Warner Bros. Pictures is supporting the hiatus. "What they are going through is unimaginable, and my heart -- our hearts -- go out to them," Warner Bros. president Toby Emmerich stated.
While the studio initially considered pushing back the release date, the Snyders vetoed the suggestion and pulled in Joss Whedon to direct any additional necessary scenes. Whedon, who helmed the first two Avengers movies for Marvel, is familiar with the film, as he assisted in writing select scenes.
"The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set," Emmerich added. "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."
Starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller, Justice League hits theaters Nov. 17.