Zack Snyder has revealed the real reason that he left Justice League while the film was still unfinished. As the now-infamous story goes, Warner Bros. announced that Snyder was leaving Justice League in the spring of 2017, just months before the film's theatrical release. At the time, Snyder and the studio cited the recent death of the director's daughter, Autumn, as the reason Snyder needed to leave and spend time healing with his family. But in a new interview with author Sean O'Connell for the upcoming book Release the Snyder Cut, Zack Snyder finally expresses exactly where his head was at when he left Justice League to Joss Whedon:
"I just was kind of done with it. I was in this place of [knowing] my family needs me more than this bullshit, and I just need to honor them and do the best I can to heal that world," Snyder tells O'Connell. "I had no energy to fight [the studio], and fight for [the movie]. Literally, zero energy for that. I really think that’s the main thing. I think there’s a different world where I stayed and kind of tried. And I’m sure I could have . . . because every movie is a fight, right? I was used to that. But I just did not have the [energy]. There was no fight in me. I had been beaten by what was going on in my life and I just didn’t want to, I didn’t care to . . . that was kind of where I was."
This new explanation from Snyder certainly seems to imply a lot more in the way of friction between the studio and director being a factor. Back in 2017 when it was announced that Snyder was off Justice League and Whedon was stepping in, Snyder's explanation was much more diplomatic when it came to mentioning the studio:
“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 at the time. "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."
A lot has changed in terms of leadership over at Warner Bros. since Justice League was being made and released in theaters - not surprising to hear Snyder's explanation change with it. It should be no secret that by the time Snyder was trying to put together his grand vision for Justice League, the backlash to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (in part caused by massive studio interference) had led to a contentious culture within DC Films. Snyder's ideas were sidelined, but have now found their way back onto the screen, in a bigger (better?) way.
Justice League: The Director's Cut will be streamed on HBO Max in four parts, in 2021.