Julie Taymor Talks Spider-Man

PlayBlog   Julie Taymor Talks Spider-Man
Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor addressed the ongoing speculation about her oft-delayed upcoming project, the musical Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, prior to a New Dramatists luncheon where she was honored with a lifetime achievement award.

Taymor told the New York Times that the show will need to be a hit on the level of her previous Broadway hit, The Lion King, in order to recoup its production costs, which some production executives have estimated at $50 million.

I’m aware of [the show’s need to be a hit], that’s my responsibility as an artist,” Taymor said. “I’m not doing this for a small audience; I’m doing it for a world audience.”

The New York Post had previously reported that rehearsals for Spider-Man are set to start this summer, with previews scheduled for October and an opening planned for November 2010.

The show was originally scheduled to start performances Feb. 25 at the Hilton Theatre. Taymor said that she was in discussions with the musical’s lead producer, Michael Cohl, to establish a budget and production plan so that further delays will be avoided.

Taymor said of the media coverage of her show’s troubles: “What I’ve learned is that the Internet has its pluses and minuses. But keep three things in mind: No. 1, all of the money that goes into this show will employ a lot of artists, actors, technician, designers, make-up people, dancers; No. 2, the audience won’t get rooked, so they shouldn’t be complaining, because they’ll be paying about the same as they would for a two-character, one-set production; and No. 3, it’s Spider-Man! Would you want to create a show with modest expectations? If we’re the behemoth that some people think we are, well, let’s ignore it, go on, and create something special.”

Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark will feature a score by U2’s Bono and The Edge, and a book by Taymor and Glen Berger (Underneath the Lintel). Reeve Carney, who will play the title character, is the only actor confirmed to star in the show after the previously announced Evan Rachel Wood and Alan Cumming pulled out. The New York Post had reported that Patrick Page may replace Cumming as the Green Goblin. Carney was scheduled to perform at the New Dramatists Luncheon honoring Taymor.

Visit SpidermanonBroadway.com.

— Thomas Peter

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