Zack Snyder’s colleagues are paying tribute to the filmmaker, in the wake of his and his family’s personal tragedy. The shocking news broke Monday that Snyder is stepping away from his remaining duties on this year’s Justice League movie in order to deal with said tragedy – namely, that his 20-year-old daughter had committed suicide back in March. Joss Whedon, writer/director of the first two Avengers films for Marvel, will step in to finish Justice League, including supervision of reshoots, editing and other postproduction tasks. It’s possible that Snyder could return at some point in postproduction but right now, Joss Whedon is the director.

Snyder, who directed Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (as well as Watchmen, 300, Sucker Punch and various other films), has been the signature director of the DC Extended Universe, and following his daughter’s death there was no public announcement and he and his family had first intended to mourn privately. But circumstances changed, and rather than push back the film’s planned release date, Snyder decided to step aside, and Warner Bros. placed Whedon in charge in his place. Meanwhile, others in the film and comic book communities have lent their support.

A long list of movie and comic book industry luminaries, both associated with DCEU and not, have issued statements of support and sympathy for Zack Snyder and his family on social media, on the occasion of the announcement on Monday:

You have created so much that will last forever. Wonderful things. Your values are left in your movies , your friends and most of all your special beautiful family. The love you have for people, kindness and selflessness are your legacy to us. Thank you Zack. Love you always .

A post shared by Gal Gadot (@gal_gadot) on

The Snyder news is yet another reminder that for all of the strong opinions people hold about today’s movies and the people who make them, those people are human beings with families who are capable of suffering the worst kinds of human tragedies. The well-being of one’s family is more important than any movie, and Snyder’s decision to step away from the film is absolutely understandable. And that’s true whether you’re the biggest fan or detractor of the current direction of the DCEU films, and whether Zack Snyder is your favorite filmmaker, or your least favorite.

What the switch to Whedon means from a creative standpoint for the Justice League movie, and its significance to the status of the DCEU going forward, are questions best to be considered another day. For now, the most important thing for everyone is to give Zack Snyder and his family the space to grieve in the way that’s best for them.

Source: Various (see the above links)

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