Zack Snyder Hopes To Publish Novel Daughter, 20, Wrote About Not Fitting In Before Suicide

Zack Snyder knows a thing or two about superheroes -- and he's being a hero for his family. The director, 51, just revealed he will be taking a break from filming 'Justice League' to heal with his family after his daughter, 20, committed suicide.

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Zack Snyder just revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that following the death of his 20-year-old daughter, Autumn Snyder, he needs to take some time off. The director had been keeping the tragedy quiet — his daughter committed suicide in March — only halting production for two weeks, then returned to the film. “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 THR with his wife, Deborah, by his side. “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.”

Autumn was Zack’s daughter from his first marriage to Denise Snyder; he and Deborah are now raising seven kids and step-kids. She was a student at Sarah Lawrence College, and was a writer; she actually showed her mother a sci-fi fantasy novel she wrote in the first person about a character who was an outsider and had trouble fitting in. Deborah was the first to read the novel, saying reading it now allows her to hear her daughter’s voice. She and Zack agree that they’d love to see the novel get published, and donate the proceeds to charity. “In the end, she didn’t make it, but her character does, and I think there would be something cathartic for people,” he said.

They also added that she included a quote by author Chuck Palahniuk in everything she wrote: “We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”

The director also spoke about leaving Justice League, saying that while he wants it to be amazing, it doesn’t matter in comparison. “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,” he said. “Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public. I thought it would just be in the family, a private matter, our private sorrow that we would deal with. When it became obvious that I need to take a break, I knew there would be narratives created on the internet. They’ll do what they do. The truth is … I’m past caring about that kind of thing now.”

While Warner Bros. said they could push back the release date of the film, Zack said no; instead, he brought in Joss Whedon to film additional scenes to be sure the release date stays at Nov. 17. Our thoughts go out to Zack and his family at this time.