Settlement Between Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Producers and Julie Taymor Not Yet Reached; Trial Would Begin in May
By Michael Gioia
The producers of Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have resumed litigation with director Julie Taymor after failing to reach a final settlement in her copyright infringement case, according to Reuters.
"The 'parties' efforts to finalize a settlement have not yet been successful," Charles Spada, a lawyer for Taymor, wrote in a Jan. 9 letter — that was made public Jan. 10 — to U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan. But he said both sides were "hopeful that a final settlement can be reached within the next few days."
As previously reported, a tentative deal settling the dispute over her role in the creation of the musical was reached with 8 Legged Productions, the producer, in August 2012, but terms were not released, and a document filed Aug. 30 in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan said the case could be reopened if the agreement broke down.
A trial is now scheduled to begin May 27.
According to Reuters, any settlement reached is conditioned on 8 Legged Productions' separate agreement with Marvel Entertainment, a unit of Walt Disney Co, to extend its license to produce the musical in other venues, Spada wrote in a Dec. 19 letter that was also made public Jan. 10.
In November 2011, original Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark director Taymor filed a lawsuit against the producers of the musical claiming that the producers violated her creative rights and did not compensate her for her work on the musical.
In response to Taymor's suit, the producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark filed an answer and countersuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the director and her company, LOH, Inc., in January 2012. The producers' counterclaims said that Taymor refused "to fulfill her contractual obligations, declaring that she could not and would not do the jobs that she was contracted to do."
The first oral arguments were made in the federal suit in June 2012. Read the earlier Playbill.com story for a complete timeline of the legal action involved with Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
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