- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mourning the death of his daughter, Autumn, “Justice League” director Zack Snyder has handed over the reins of the production to fellow veteran superhero-movie visionary Joss Whedon, The Hollywood Reporter said Monday.

Mr. Snyder initially took two weeks off the project after his daughter Autumn committed suicide, but he told THR in an interview that diving back into work has not helped the grieving process.

“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,” he said, according to 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.”

THR reported that Warner Bros. offered to delay the release date for “Justice League,” an offer he turned down. “Justice League” remains slated for a Nov. 17 release.

According to an executive with the studio, Mr. Whedon will act essentially as a caretaker of Mr. Snyder’s directorial vision on the project.

“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,” said Warner Bros. President Toby Emmerich.

Mr. Whedon has proven successful with the Marvel Comics ensemble-cast superhero franchise “Marvel’s The Avengers.” He wrote and directed the 2012 movie as well as its 2015 sequel “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Both movies found significant success at the box office, and the former was particularly well-received both by critics and audiences, with 92 and 91 percent “fresh” ratings, respectively, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

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