Zack Snyder To Vacate 'Justice League' Film Due To Family Tragedy

Zack Snyder, for many is a filmmaker who has, through his work, inspired many to create and prosper in the world of art. But for a select few, Deborah Snyder, several children and step-children, he is a husband and father, and as of now he will be that figure in their lives for the foreseeable future as a tragedy has struck the Snyder family.

In March of this year, Autumn Snyder, 20, daughter of Snyder from his first marriage with Denise Snyder, committed suicide. It was only known to a select few at the time even with production on Justice League being put on hold for two weeks so that he and producing partner and wife, Deborah Snyder, can mourn the loss of Autumn. Zack has said that he was eager to get back into making the film though.

But it is with the loss of their daughter that they have decided to leave the project, to mourn and recuperate with their family.

“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,” said an emotional Snyder in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Monday in his office on the Warner Bros. lot, with Deborah sitting by his side. “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. are fully supporting their decision to leave the project. “What they are going through is unimaginable, and my heart — our hearts — go out to them," says Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich.

The studio put forth the idea of pushing the film back in order to allow Snyder to complete it, but the Snyders decided to not let that happen. Warner Bros. has extended Snyder's first-look deal so that he can work on other projects when he returns.

Filling in for Snyder, will be The Avengers helmer, Joss Whedon, who will work on the post production and additional photography for the film and will make sure it comes out November 17.

After showing a rough edit of the Justice League film for fellow filmmakers and friends, Snyder wanted to do more with it by adding more scenes, so to help, he brought Whedon to write them. However in prepping for additional photography in England, Snyder felt that it was not the right time to leave his home. “The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set,” Emmerich explained. “We’re not introducing any new characters. It’s the same characters in some new scenes. He’s handing the 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.”

Snyder is expecting the undoubtable emotional-driven reactions and responses such news will stir up.

“Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public,” he said. “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 is … I’m past caring about that kind of thing now.”

The sudden loss of his daughter, has given Zack a newfound outlook on life. “I want the movie to be amazing, and I’m a fan, but that all pales pretty quickly in comparison," he said. “I know the fans are going to be worried about the movie, but there are seven other kids that need me. In the end, it’s just a movie. It’s a great movie. But it’s just a movie."

Autumn was attending the Sarah Lawrence College, and loved "to write, to write, to write,” said Deborah. The 20 year old daughter had written a science-fiction/fantasy novel, set in the first person, that featured an outsider who never fit in with anything.

Fighting back tears, Deborah recalled being the first one to be able to read their daughter's book. “You’re hearing her voice,” Deborah said.

The two would like to, some time in the future, publish their daughter's work 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,” said Zack.

The thought of his daughter’s writing prompts Zack to recall another memory. Autumn had a quote that she included in everything she wrote. (“Every. Single. Thing,” chuckled Zack.) It’s from author Chuck Palahniuk: “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”

“Maybe this helps,” said Zack.

Source: THR


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