Zack Snyder has announced that he is stepping down from the upcoming Justice League movie to spend time with his family after a heartbreaking tragedy. Rumors of rewrites and reshoots have been plaguing Justice League for weeks, even after reports that the movie had yet to even start any reshoots. But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. Sometimes the truth is a bitter pill to swallow and all fun and games and speculation get thrown out the window. In a shocking move, it has been announced that Zack Snyder will hand the reigns over to Batgirl director Joss Whedon to complete Justice League as he deals with personal issues.
Snyder and his wife sat down in his Warner Bros. office with Hollywood Reporter and told them that his daughter died by suicide in March at the age of 20. Nobody should have to go through what Snyder and family are going through, and yet Snyder tried to work through it privately. Snyder never meant to make his grieving public, but it became obvious that he needed to step down. Snyder explained this.
"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 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."
Like most people dealing with grief, Snyder didn't know what to do so he thought that it might be best for him to put his head down and continue to work on Justice League to make the best possible movie that he could. But ultimately his way of grieving did not work in the manner that he thought it would. Snyder says this.
"In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if that was a 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."
When it comes down to it, this is not the public's business in any way shape or form, but Snyder felt the need to bury the story before it became a series of rumors of the reasons why he stepped down.
Warner Bros. and crew are 100% behind Snyder and family and offered to push the movie back, but Snyder declined and instead let Joss Whedon come in and finish the project. As it turns out, Whedon was already involved in the writing and additional reshoots anyway. Warner Bros. is also stressing that Whedon is not coming in to completely redo the movie, he is coming in to see Snyder's vision through. Warner Bros. pictures president Toby Emmerich says this.
"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."
It's unimaginable what Snyder and his family are going through right now, but it's amazing that he has stood up to think about the fans in such a personal time. It is also great to see Warner Bros. and Whedon step up to continue Snyder's vision of Justice League. The release date will stay the same, so expect Justice League to premier on November 17th, 2017 as planned. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Snyder and his family.