Snyder’s daughter, Autumn, committed suicide in March at the age of 20. Snyder and his wife, Deborah, who is also a producer on the film, said they initially intended to keep the loss private but now both have deiced to step away from the film.
“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,” Synder told The Hollywood Reporter. “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 of his daughter’s death. “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 needed 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.”
Autumn was Snyder’s daughter from his first marriage to Denise Weber, with whom he had three other children. He is also father to two children from a relationship with Kirsten Elin and has adopted two children with his second wife, Deborah Snyder.
WATCH BELOW: Movie trailer for Justice League
Whedon was initially brought on to write additional scenes for Snyder but when it came time to film them, Snyder decided not to leave his family. Warner Bros. officials decided to let Whedon take over the project.
“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 said. “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.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.