Losing a loved one is never easy. Losing a child is even harder. Now imagine going through such pain while under the crushing scrutiny of making one of the most highly anticipated movies on the planet. That’s the situation Justice League director Zack Snyder and his wife, producer Deborah Snyder, now find themselves in.
The Snyders revealed their heartbreaking story to The Hollywood Reporter. The husband and wife had understandably not planned to make their very private matter a very public affair, but knew that any news about them stepping away from Justice League would be met with rumors about every aspect of Warner Brothers’ DC Comics movies. So instead they decide to bare it all, knowing full well it wouldn’t be easy.
Their daughter Autumn commited suicide back in March. As Zack told THR, he thought he could bury himself in work, which included already planned additional photography on Justice League, as a way of coping with the tragedy. The Snyders both found they couldn’t heal through piling on the workload and so they decided to retreat from the spotlight to spend time with their family.
As Zack Snyder put it to THR, “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 for the movie, Batgirl director Joss Whedon will be stepping in to oversee the final bits. Snyder had already asked Whedon to write the new scenes after screening the movie for him and a select group of fellow filmmakers, but then tragedy struck and Whedon agreed to also follow through behind the camera.
The Snyders will instead use the time to take care of themselves and to see that a book their daughter had been writing be published, with all proceeds donated to charity.