It was reported today that Zack Snyder is stepping down as director of Justice League, being replaced by Josh Whedon.
Zack told The Hollywood Reporter he is stepping away in order to deal with the sudden death of his daughter, Autumn, who died by suicide in March at age 20.
“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,” says an emotional Snyder in an interview 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.”
“Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public,” he says. “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 death of Autumn, Zack’s daughter from his first marriage, to Denise Snyder (in addition to Autumn, he and Deborah have been raising seven kids and step-kids), has brought a new perspective and a new focus for him. “I want the movie to be amazing and I’m a fan, but that all pales pretty quickly in comparison,” he says. “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.”
As a huge Zack fan, my heart is with him and his family. And I hope media (and comic-book fans in general) learn how to be respectful while reporting this.