More than just an action movie, Justice League is about grief and loss. Wonder Woman grieves over the loss of Steve Trevor, Batman and Cyborg’s grief over the loss of their parents, Lois Lane and Martha Kent grieving over the loss of Superman. Many who watched the first release of Justice League in 2017 may have missed this theme as the action, special effects and compressed storyline camouflaged the deep struggles of each of the DC superheroes in the movie. The 2017 version was completed by Joss Whedon, having to step in suddenly to take over from Zack Synder the original producer for Justice League. Synder and his wife Deborah who co-produced the movie stepped down from the production of the movie as their daughter Autumn, then 20 years old, had died by suicide. Fans rallied behind the Synders with the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement and called for the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League while raising half a million US dollars for suicide prevention. This original version is 4 hours long and is available on HBO Max. It tells a deeper story about each superhero, their purpose, their pain and their journey through loss and reconnection. This movie is more than just a tribute to Snyder’s daughter Autumn, it’s her legacy and hopefully a light for many that are in dark places in their lives.
“It’s been cathartic for us. It’s never not a struggle. It’s never not painful and difficult. Even in honoring her, it’s still… The wound is fresh. You know, a lot of lives have been saved by the money that’s been raised by these kids for suicide prevention. There’s no two ways about it. That’s an amazing, powerful legacy that she’s given us and inspired me as a filmmaker and as a father to kind of take whatever skills that I might have, and apply it to this.”
“It was a difficult decision, I think, initially, to be public about it. But I think that a lot of the problem of mental illness is that there’s such a stigma attached to it and oftentimes people feel alone. We felt like to be able to share this story, as a public figure, maybe it could help other people. A lot of people a lot of fans have reached out to talk about the movies and to talk about like the stories that related to them and how sometimes they were in a dark place and it brought them some solace or understanding, or it just helped them get through something. So I think being open to sharing things that are painful sometimes, it can help the healing process.”
If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, our hearts go out to you. Please know that everyone grieves in a different way and there are no clear define stages that you must go through. As a young person, grieve and bereavement can be even more atypical. Here’s some information about what a young person can experience in bereavement. If you find it hard to approach the subject of grief and loss, try using a movie like this to start off with.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call the following numbers for help immediately.