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With much hype and expectations heaped upon the upcoming DC film Justice League, Zack Snyder shocked the comicbook world when it was announced that he’d be stepping down from directorial duties due to a family tragedy.

The Huff Post is reporting that after screening a rough cut of the movie on the Warner Bros. lot, Zack Snyder informed the audience that his 20-year-old daughter, Autumn Snyder, had committed suicide this past March. He’ll be taking a sabbatical to be with his family and cope with the tragedy.

While most of the film is already complete, the remaining shots are left in the hands of Avengers director Josh Whedon, who had already been working with Snyder for the past month to ensure that he would take the directorial reigns as smoothly as possible.

Many consider Josh Whedon to be the ideal fit for the director’s chair as he made Marvel’s The Avengers an instant classic upon release. Whedon left Marvel and joined DC to direct the upcoming Batgirl film and now finds himself filling in for Zack at a trying time.

Though he knows what’s riding on this movie’s success, Snyder recognizes that his family comes before everything else.

“I want the movie to be amazing, and I’m a fan, but that all pales pretty quickly in comparison,” Snyder told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

The past few years have been hectic for Zack Snyder who was catching so much flak from comicbook fans for his darker than normal vision of Superman in Man of Steel and the lackluster Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Tt got to the point where fans were demanding he’d resign from directing the highly anticipated Justice League films.

We hope he and his family are able to heal from this tragedy and Zack finds his way back to the DCU whenever he feels ready to do so.