6:04 pm EDT, May 22, 2017

Zack Snyder departing ‘Justice League’ following daughter’s suicide, Joss Whedon to take over

Some sad and shocking news to report: Justice League director Zack Snyder has stepped down from working on the film following his daughter’s suicide in March.

Snyder’s daughter’s suicide has been kept private until now. The director decided to reveal the tragic story and the change of hands to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday afternoon. His daughter, Autumn, was 20 years old when she died in March. The film’s production went on a two-week break following her death.

Additional scenes are needed for Justice League, but Snyder recently decided that he couldn’t leave home at this time to film them overseas. The new scenes are written by Joss and will also be directed by him. Snyder decided to add a few scenes after screening the film for friends and co-workers.

Related: Joss Whedon to write, direct Batgirl movie for WB

“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,” he 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.”

While Snyder and WB are aware this may raise concerns about how the film will turn out, the studio is confident in what lies ahead. “The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set,” said Warner Bros. Pictures president Toby Emmerich. “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.”

Thanks to Joss stepping in, the movie won’t be missing its November 17, 2017 release date. WB offered Snyder the chance to delay the film so he could take the time off that he needs, but he and his wife, who’s a producer on the movie and who is also stepping down, ultimately decided to hire the Buffy and Avengers director.

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