Looks like yet more woes for the disaster stricken Spider-Man musical. In the past few months the $65 million Broadway show has swung (pun fully intended) from trouble to trouble including bad reviews, delays, accidents and cast walk outs. In this latest drama reports are emerging from the production that director and main creative force, Julie Taymor is to be taken off the project with near immediate effect. Taymor is the creator of the hit stage version of The Lion King and was recruited by Bono and The Edge at the start of the project to help bring Peter Parker to the stage but tensions between her and the shows producers have been growing in the last few weeks as the opening night draws near and the problems keep mounting up.
Taymor has reportedly been locked in a battle with the shows producers over the creative direction of the musical for some time now. Critics have slammed the productions story for not making any sense and comics fans have criticised the show for the fact that one of the main villains, Arachne, isn’t even from the comic. The show had been starting to draw some positive responses from certain corners but the production’s investors have clearly decided that the changes aren’t happening fast enough. The final nail came this week when Bono and The Edge themselves, up until now her strongest supporters, reportedly agreed that it was time for her to stand down. According to sources inside the company, Taymor will be resigning from the show as soon as negotiations over her creative legal rights and financial stake from profits have been resolved.
In the wake of this development, the show’s producers have shut down production for the next few weeks in order to recruit a new director, start reworking the script and give the cast a break. This means that the show will miss it’s advertised opening night of March 15th (the sixth time the deadline has been pushed back) and will probably also miss the deadline for the Tony awards this year.
Where this leaves Turn Off The Dark now is anybody’s guess. It’s possible that this shift in direction will mark a change in the fortunes of the ailing production or it could be just the latest step in a death by a thousand cuts. Right now it seems that whatever grim demise Brian M. Bendis has planned for the Ultimate version of the character in his upcoming “Death of Spider-Man” story, it can’t be much worse than the slow death Webbs seems to be suffering over on Broadway.
Guess we’ll just have to hold out for the Watchmen musical. 😉