Back in March, Zack Snyder and producing partner/wife Deborah Snyder suffered a terrible tragedy: the death of their 20-year-old daughter Autumn via suicide. After attempting to focus on Justice League for the past few months, Snyder has decided it best to step away from the project, issuing a statement to THR:

“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.”

“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. I want the movie to be amazing and I’m a fan, but that all pales pretty quickly in comparison. 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.”

I can’t even imagine the pain of going through such a devastating loss, nevertheless attempting to make a giant film such as Justice League whilst grieving. Our heart aches for Snyder. For now, we won’t even comment on what effect Whedon taking over Justice League will have. According to WB Pictures president Toby Emmerich, Snyder handpicked Whedon to take over for him, who will retain Snyder’s style for the film:

“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.”

Our sincerest condolences and thoughts go out to the Snyders and their family. Truly awful news.

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