Taymor discusses how she found her inspiration for the musical in an unexpected character: "I started to look at the comic books, and on page one of Ultimate Spider-Man, I found the story of Arachne. In Greek mythology, Arachne is a young girl who's full of hubris—that attitude of 'We're better than the gods.' She was a great weaver—she wove all the stories of the gods' misdeeds. And basically, the goddess Athena got pissed and challenged Arachne to a duel at the loom. The two female powers, the human and the goddess, wove, and Arachne's tapestry turned out better. Athena got so angry that she destroyed it—and Arachne hung herself on a single thread. Athena was so taken with this act that she transformed her into a spider and made her immortal. Really, she was dooming her to loneliness, cursing her to weave her webs in the darkness, inspiring fear and terror everywhere.
"Once I got the idea of Arachne, I realized that this would be a love triangle [between her, Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Mary Jane]. And that it would be a great thing for a musical. Because you have to have a dilemma. What is Peter singing about? He's an action hero when he puts on the suit, but when he's Peter Parker, when the costume is off and no one knows that he's Spider-Man, he's a troubled teenager. … Trying to have a normal existence like Bono and all these rockers. And really trying to balance out his life. So there is a lot for him to be singing about."
The musical features a score by U2 front men Bono and The Edge, whom Taymor describes as good fits for the show because they are active in trying to "save the world" as humanitarians, while also trying to "be a dad and husband and drink in your pub and just be a guy."
Spider-Man is currently in its second month of previews at the Foxwoods Theatre.