Will Julie Taymor Be Released from Spider-Man's Web?

News   Will Julie Taymor Be Released from Spider-Man's Web?
The long-awaited opening night of the Broadway musical Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark may happen without its director and co-author. The New York Times reports that producers are in talks with Tony Award winner Julie Taymor to work with an expanded creative team or to possibly have Taymor make her exit from the troubled production.

Producers of the $65 million spectacle, which began previews in late November and is currently scheduled to open March 15, are considering making alterations to the script and score and bringing on consultants to help shape the musical, which has meandered through its preview period. Sources indicated that if Taymor (The Lion King) is not responsive to enlisting creative aid, she may be replaced altogether. Word of major creative team overhauls for Spider-Man began circulating early Monday morning.

The Times also reports that producers are mulling a fourth delay for the opening night of Spider-Man. As of March 7, and with opening night only eight days away, the press has yet to be notified of any opening-night coverage, a rare occurrence in the New York theatre scene. The musical is now the record holder for the longest preview period of any Broadway production.

Spider-Man press representative Rick Miramontez told Playbill.com that "the production has no comment on the rumors reported in The Times."

In a previous statement, producer Michael Cohl announced that the third delay (to March 15) would be the final postponement in the production schedule, and would allow Taymor time to fine-tune the work and create a new ending.

Cohl's assurance was not enough to keep away New York theatre critics, who published their reviews of the production Feb. 7, in accordance with a previously announced opening night. Spider-Man was not well received among the press, but has consistently been a strong seller at the box office, grossing over $1 million weekly. 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.

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