Julie Taymor Says She Was "Shocked" By Spider-Man Dismissal

News   Julie Taymor Says She Was "Shocked" By Spider-Man Dismissal
In an interview for Esquire, Tony-winning director Julie Taymor says her dismissal as director of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark came as a "complete shock."

Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Although reports at the time said Taymor was given the choice to accept changes to the script or depart the production, the Lion King director says no such ultimatum was given. "This thing that I refused to do the big changes and so they let me go? No. There wasn't [an ultimatum]," Taymor says. "That was not something that was brought up to me."

Taymor, who spent nine years working on the musical that is currently playing Broadway's Foxwoods Theatre, also takes issue with members of the production/creative team painting her as "inefficient," "inflexible," "exhausted" or "overwrought." "There's no doubt by the end of February, when I felt all of this stuff happening, that I was exhausted by that, but not by the show and not by the inspiration that I was getting from the actors," Taymor explains. "What was exhausting was the fact that the producers were absent... Those people weren't there, so how does [Spider-Man composer-lyricist] Bono know? I'm sorry....I think that those were important to paint a picture of a director who you needed to release in order to make this big change. I had to be characterized that way in order for something to happen."

And, the director also tries to dispel the idea that she is incapable of compromise. "I compromise all the time. All the time....Of course! I don't know how you could possibly be in the world of opera, theater, and movies if you don't compromise. Compromise is very different than selling out. Compromise is about saying, 'Let's get on the same track.' Our ending [of Spider-Man] didn't work, so I was having to make compromises, and many of the things that were suggested, and changes that were offered by Bono, were made."

When asked whether she would have gotten involved in Spider-Man had she known the struggles that would follow, Taymor tells Esquire, "I don't think I would want to go through this again ... not with this group of people. Not with these producers... Nine years on Spider-Man, I still love what we were all trying to do."

Taymor's next project will likely be a film musical version of Thomas Mann's novella "The Transposed Heads." The creative credits for the June reboot of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark read this way: music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge, book by Julie Taymor, Glen Berger & Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, choreography and aerial choreography by Daniel Ezralow, additional choreography by Chase Brock, creative consultant Philip Wm. McKinley, original direction by Julie Taymor. The show's lead producers are Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris.

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