Joss Whedon To Shepherd Justice League Over The Finish Line As Zack Snyder Steps Down To Deal With Personal Tragedy

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The Hollywood Reporter brings word this evening that Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Batgirl) will shepherd Justice League through post-production now that Zack Snyder has stepped down in light of a family tragedy.

Snyder and his wife/creative partner Deborah Snyder – a producer on the DC ensemble film – are both taking a break from Warner’s shared universe following the sudden death of Zack’s daughter, Autumn Snyder, who took her own life at age 20 only two months ago. Per THR, it’s understood that her death had been kept relatively private up until now, and only close friends and family were aware of the situation.

The family tragedy resulted in a two-week delay for production on Justice League, and in a candid interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Zack Snyder conceded that his knee-jerk reaction was to delve straight back into work in order to grapple with the crippling sense of grief.

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.

Warner Bros. fully supports Zack and Deborah Snyder’s decision, too, and even pitched the idea of delaying Justice League to accommodate the tragedy. Alas, both declined, leading to WB’s decision to draft in Joss Whedon to oversee the final touches. In a statement provided to THR, Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich noted:

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 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.

When asked about the inevitable reaction to his departure, Zack Snyder closed out the interview with the following:

Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public. 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 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.

Justice League opens on November 17th, and our thoughts go out to Zack Snyder and his extended family.

Source: THR

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