Snyder is stepping back from Justice League to deal with the sudden death of his daughter, Autumn Snyder, who committed suicide in March. The death was kept private, and while the production was put on hold for two weeks for Snyder and his family to deal with the tragedy, Snyder initially said he was eager to return to work. “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,” Snyder told THR. “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.”
Snyder had already brought Whedon in to write some additional scenes after he screened a rough cut of the movie earlier this year. Now Whedon will oversee final production. “The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set,” Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich told THR. “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.”
Autumn Snyder, 20, was Snyder’s daughter with his first wife, Denise Snyder. Zack Snyder and his current wife Deborah Snyder, who is a producer on Justice League, are currently raising a family that includes seven children/ step-children in addition to Autumn.
Justice League releases in theaters on November 17 (see “'Justice League' Trailer”).