Zack Snyder Steps Down from ‘Justice League’, Joss Whedon Will Finish the Film

When a family tragedy occurs, everything else gets put on hold… even the Justice League.

Zack Snyder, the director of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, surprised the world today by revealing that he would not complete production on the upcoming DC superhero team-up movie Justice League. He and his wife, producer Deborah Snyder, are departing the project, after completing principle photography, in order to focus on their family, following the tragic suicide of their 20-year-old daughter Autumn Snyder in March.

Joss Whedon, the director of Avengers and the upcoming Batgirl movie, has been enlisted by Warner Bros. to finish Justice League in time for the film’s November 17, 2017 release date. The studio originally offered to push back the premiere to accommodate the Snyder family, according to Hollywood Reporter, but the Snyder’s insisted on moving forward as planned. The studio has also given Snyder an extension on his first-look deal.

In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Zack Snyder said he had considered finishing Justice League himself as a form of catharsis but, “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 Snyder had already enlisted Joss Whedon to write a some new scenes for Justice League, after screening an early version of the film. Now it falls to Whedon to direct those scenes as well, but – 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.” Emmerich also says the new scenes will not feature any characters who were not already in Zack Snyder’s film.

The Snyder family is enduring an unthinkable loss, a tragedy no one should ever have to experience. We send all of our heartfelt condolences to their family, and hope they find solace together in this time of grief, and healing.

Top Photo: Warner Bros.

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.