Director Zack Snyder is set to bring us his third in a line of Warner Bros./DC films Justice League, following his first, Man of Steel, in 2013 and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. The 51-year-old has also given us the likes of Watchmen, a more obscure DC Comics property, and 300, a film based on writer Frank Miller’s novel of the same name, among a number of other projects. Having been making movies with his wife producer Deborah Snyder for a long while, the two have never given so much energy as has had to be given to make a franchise based on DC superheroes work.
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With Justice League having wrapped filming earlier this year, Snyder has been hard at work in the editing room – of which he shared a snippet of an Aquaman scene – piecing all of the film’s parts together. The movie is said to be somewhat of a departure from the brooding, dark tones of Batman v Superman with more of an emphasis on teamwork, and an added dash of humour, provided mostly by Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen/The Flash. From all of Justice League‘s promotional material, and the passion that the Snyder’s & their colleagues have brought to the project, the movie is shaping up to be an enjoyable one.
Very sadly, news broken on Monday (via THR) brought to light that a recent tragedy hit the Snyder family, with the couple’s 20-year-old daughter Autumn Snyder having taken her own life back in March. A devastating blow for which there are really no words to describe. Zack had originally thought that a way for him to deal with the loss was to get more stuck into his work, but following a break period between March and May, when the film’s scheduled rehsoots would be beginning, Snyder ultimately decided that he needed to be with his family, who were, and are, understandably finding the loss difficult.
Zack Snyder’s official statement:
“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 … The demands of this job are pretty intense. It is all-consuming. And in the last two months, I’ve come to the realisation … 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.”
As important as it is to focus on the Snyder family, it’s also no bad thing to highlight the public’s reaction to the news. a league of fans and followers took to social media to wish Zack and his family well and make clear their support during this hard time. It must also be said that there were those that knew about what had happened nearer the time, including members of the Press who in today’s world of cutthroat business could have very well decided to break the story before the Snyder’s had requested, but they didn’t. Warner Bros. were also very open and supportive of Zack and Deborah telling them they would push the film back to a later date if that’s what they wanted to do, no small deal as the studio has hundreds of millions of dollars riding on Justice League, but also gave the pair the freedom to decide the course of action they felt was best.
As for the film itself, DCEU newcomer Joss Whedon (Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron) will be overseeing the work that remains on Justice League, having already written the scheduled reshoot scenes for the movie shortly after being announced to direct the Batgirl film. Whedon will only be filming the reshoots and finishing the editing process, as most of the movie is finished, and Warner Bros. Pictures President Toby Emmerich has made clear that Justice League is Zack Snyder’s film:
“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 the 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.”
It’s another time for us as film fans to realise once again that a movie is just a movie. Of course, there are some films near and dear to our hearts that may well have a level of importance to us, but it goes without saying that family comes first.
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Justice League flies into cinemas November 16th