In a sad turn of events, Joss Whedon has stepped in to take over for Justice League director Zack Snyder after the filmmaker's 20-year-old daughter, Autumn Snyder, committed suicide in March, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
The film, starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller, is currently in post production. With the help of the Avengers director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator, the film is still set to be on track for its original release date of Nov. 17, 2017.
Snyder told the outlet that he had seen a rough cut of Justice League and wanted to write additional scenes, but was not up to the task, so he brought Whedon on board.
"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," Synder told the publication during an interview in his office on the Warner Bros. lot earlier today.
Snyder is known for directing action-packed, superhero films, including 300, Watchmen, Man of Steel, and Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice. According to IMDB, he'd been slated to direct both Justice League and the film's sequel. Additionally, he has at least nine other films that he's set to produce in the future. But it looks like everything is on hold for the time being.
"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," he said. "They are all having a hard time. I’m having a hard time."
Synder also admitted he planned on keeping his daughter's death private, but his high-profile status, and the film's made keeping quiet impossible.
"Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public," he said. "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 is…I’m past caring about that kind of thing now."
The director, who has seven other kids and step kids with his wife Deborah Synder, also said that Autumn's death has changed his perspective on life and what truly matters.
"I want the movie to be amazing and I’m a fan, but that all pales pretty quickly in comparison," he said. "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."