Spider-Man Musical’s Legal Web Grows More Tangled


The producers of the troubled musical have filed a counter-suit against former director Julie Taymor, accusing her of creating a messed up play about “suicide, sex and death.”

What happens when you create a Broadway musical that’s so bad (and expensive) it becomes a punchline before it’s even out of previews? If you’re Julie Taymor, you wind up getting fired. Then, you sue the show’s producers and – a few months later – you get sued in return.

When performances of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark first started back in 2010, reviews were often scathing, the lead actress left over safety concerns and the show was notorious for injuring its performers. The play’s producers believed that the show could still be a hit, but it had to have its music re-written and it was rumored that Taymor might end up leaving the production she’d created.

By March of last year, it looked almost certain that Taymor was about to get retconned out Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. That wound up happening and the show received a three-week hiatus before performances were resumed. In November, Taymor sued the show’s producers, claiming her creative rights were trampled and that she hadn’t been properly paid for her involvement in the show.

Now, the producers have filed a counter-suit against Taymor. According to the New York Times:

The producers said in their lawsuit that Ms. Taymor declared that she “could not and would not do the jobs that she was contracted to do,” and that others took on those tasks and created a new version of the show, which she cannot lay claim to.

“Taymor refused to develop a musical that followed the original, family-friendly Spider-Man story, which was depicted in the Marvel comic books and the hugely successful motion picture trilogy based on them,” lawyers for Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris, the lead producers, wrote in the filing.

“Instead, Taymor, who admits that she was not a fan of the Spider-Man story prior to her involvement with the musical, insisted on developing a dark, disjointed and hallucinogenic musical involving suicide, sex and death,” the lawyers continued, referring to Ms. Taymor’s creation of the villain character Arachne.

Taymor reportedly refused to make changes to the script that the producers demanded and was subsequently fired. For some inexplicable reason, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is still going strong on Broadway. The show is now out of previews, officially open, and is selling enough tickets to make a profit even after you subtract the $1 million it costs to operate each week.

Source: New York Times via Topless Robot

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