Julie Taymor Will Likely Depart Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark

News   Julie Taymor Will Likely Depart Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark
 
The New York Times reports March 9 that Tony-winning director Julie Taymor will likely depart the troubled, $65 million musical Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark.

Tony winner Julie Taymor
Tony winner Julie Taymor Photo by John Hogg

While no official announcement has been made, a lead producer of the much-in-the-news production told two investors in the musical that the award-winning Lion King director will step aside once contractual matters, which include her creative legal rights and financial stake, are concluded.

The Times reports that lead producer Michael Cohl told Taymor that she needed to step aside so that the production could bring in a different creative team to make major changes to the musical, which has been in previews at the Foxwoods Theatre since November 2010.

A person in a senior management position on Spider-Man told the New York paper that Taymor and the producers are currently negotiating "over who owns what material, and how the royalties and future development of the show in productions around the world will be worked out."

Cohl, fellow lead producer Jeremiah Harris, and Spider-Man co-creators U2’s Bono and the Edge reportedly reached a consensus that it is necessary for Taymor to depart in order for the show to strengthen its artistic values and commercial possibilities.

A spokesperson for the production told Playbill.com March 9, "The production is not commenting on the recent speculation regarding the show." The Times reported March 8 that producers are also planning a "significant overhaul" of the musical, which will require the show to close for a two-to-three week period in order to allow the cast a chance to rest and to rehearse the new material. The New York paper says the shutdown will likely occur in April and early May. When the musical will officially open remains a mystery. (The current March 15 opening day seems more than unlikely.)

Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark features a book by Taymor and Glen Berger, and new music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge. The musical had originally been announced to arrive during the 2009 season, but was postponed due to financing.

Producers also include Jeremiah J. Harris, Steve Lillywhite, Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Land Line Productions, by association with Marvel Entertainment.

The cast features Reeve Carney as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Next to Normal Tony nominee Jennifer Damiano as Mary Jane Watson , T.V. Carpio as Arachne and Broadway veteran Patrick Page as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin.

Visit SpiderManOnBroadway.

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