LOS ANGELES • Zack Snyder, the director behind upcoming Warner movie Justice League, said on Monday he would back out from the big-budget superhero project to cope with the recent suicide of his daughter.
Warner said Joss Whedon will take over directing duties. Justice League is slated for release on Nov 17 and still requires additional shooting and extensive post-production work.
Whedon is best known for directing The Avengers (2012) and its Age Of Ultron (2015) sequel.
Snyder's wife, Deborah, a producer on Justice League, will also step away from the film.
"What they are going through is unimaginable and my heart - our hearts - go out to them," Mr Toby Emmerich, president of Warner Bros Pictures, told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday.
In the same article, Snyder said: "I've decided to take a step back from the movie to be with my family, be with my kids, who really need me."
His daughter, who was 20 and attending Sarah Lawrence College, died in March.
Snyder said he tried to return to work, but realised the load was too much.
"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 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," he added, referring to his family. "In the end, it's just a movie."