It's not a joke, The Avengers 1 & 2 director Joss Whedon will be replacing Zack Snyder on Justice League, after Snyder Announced he's leaving to deal with a family tragedy.
The tragedy in question is a massive one: Snyder's daughter, Autumn, took her own life in March, at the age of 20. Zack Snyder and his wife/filmmaking partner Deborah are taking time away to heal their family. As Snyder tells it, trying to finish Justice League was initially his answer to working through the tragedy - but that has since changed:
"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," Snyder 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."
Whedon was apparently brought in to write additional scenes for the movie after seeing a rough cut; now, he will be finishing those scenes, in order to bring the film to completion. As Warner Bros. Pictures President Toby Emmerich tells it:
"The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set. 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."
Again: This is real, and while Marvel and DC fans have more reason than ever to be united now, the result will likely be a lot of argument on line. Better strap yourself in. For his part, Snyder is making this painful announcement to help insulate Justice League from the savagery of online commentators:
"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 break, I knew there would be narratives created on the internet. They'll do what they do. The truth it…I'm past caring about that kind of thing now.
I want the movie to be amazing and I'm a fan, but that all pales pretty quickly in comparison. 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."
We wish the Snyder's family support and well-wishes during this difficult time in their lives; and wish Whedon the best while stepping into tragic situation to craft something that both fans and Snyder himself will be proud of.
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- How Critics Shaped Wonder Woman & The New DCEU
- Casting the Next Phase of DC Movie Villains
- Casting the Next Phase of DC Movie Superheroes
Justice League is still on track for release on November 17.
In Justice League, fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder, from a screenplay by Chris Terrio, and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck (Batman), Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ezra Miller (The Flash), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Ray Fisher (Cyborg), Ciarán Hinds (Steppenwolf), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth), J.K. Simmons (Commissioner Gordon), Amber Heard (Mera), Kiersey Clemons (Iris West) and Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor).
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