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Zack Snyder thanks fans for support following 'Justice League' exit

By Wade Sheridan
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Zack Snyder thanks fans for support following 'Justice League' exit
Director Zack Snyder arrives at a Warner Bros. event to promote "Man of Steel" on April 16, 2013. On Twitter, Snyder has thanked fans for their support as he deals with a family tragedy. File Photo by David Becker/UPI | License Photo

May 24 (UPI) -- Director Zack Snyder thanked fans on Twitter for their support following news that he is stepping down from Justice League due to the death of his daughter.

"Thanks for the outpouring of support. I can't express how much it means to Debbie & I and Autumn's mother, Denise, at such a difficult time," the filmmaker wrote Tuesday.

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Snyder's daughter Autumn took her own life in March at the age of 20. The 51-year-old film maker who kept the matter private, initially wanted to continue work on the superhero ensemble, which was put on hold so that the family could deal with the tragedy. Snyder's wife, Deborah, who is a producer on Justice League, is also stepping down.

"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," Snyder said Monday. "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."

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Snyder also shared on Twitter a link to The Jed Foundation, which seeks to protect emotional health and prevent suicide in teens and young adults. "To support or seek help, please know there are places such as afsp.org and JEDfoundation.org that are doing great work," he wrote.

Warner Bros. wanted to delay the film, which stars Ben Affleck (Batman), Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ezra Miller (The Flash), Jason Momoa (Aquaman) and Ray Fisher (Cyborg), but Snyder wanted Justice League to reach its planned Nov. 17 release date.

Stepping in for Snyder will be Joss Whedon who directed Disney and Marvel's Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron to lead Justice League through post-production and to direct some additional scenes. Whedon was brought into the DC comics and Warner Bros. fold after he signed on to helm an upcoming Batgirl film in March.

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Snyder had previously helmed Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice alongside Deborah as a producer. The couple also produced Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, that arrives in theaters June 2.

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