'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark': Director Julie Taymor leaving day-to-day duties, Bono and The Edge writing new music

Spider-man-Broadway-TaymorImage Credit: Joan MarcusAfter days of reports speculating on the fate of the embattled Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the show’s producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris officially announced today that Julie Taymor will no longer be continuing her day-to-day duties as the director and co-book writer. The $65 million show will under go “significant” revisions, and the opening night has been pushed from March 15 to a non-specified date in “early summer, 2011.” As such, the producers stated that “Julie’s previous commitments mean that past March 15th, she cannot work the 24/7 [schedule] necessary to make the changes in the production in order to be ready for our opening.” Cohl and Harris are clear, however, that Taymor “is not leaving the creative team.”

In her place, however, director Philip William McKinley (The Boy From Oz) has stepped in to “implement new staging” and playwright and Spider-Man comic book scribe Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa will handle “book rewrites.” Paul Bogaev (Tarzan, Aida) and Peter Hylenski (Elf, Rock of Ages) have also joined the production as a musical consultant and sound designer, respectively.

Bono and The Edge, who wrote the production’s music and lyrics, have announced that they are writing “a couple of new songs we are very very excited about putting into the mix.” They also praise Taymor as a “truly gifted and imaginative director.”

The show, meanwhile, remains in previews at Broadway’s Foxwoods Theatre, with tickets priced from $67.50 to $135, and there is no indication in the release as to when, or if, the production would suspend previews to implement and rehearse the announced changes. As for when Spidey will get a firm new opening date, all Bono and The Edge had to say was this: “We are confident [the show] will reach its full potential and when it does, it will open.”

Read more:
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ faces sixth delay and possible exit of director Julie Taymor: Report
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ hit with federal fines
Julie Taymor breaks silence on ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ cast performs on Letterman
‘South Park’ creators: ‘Spider-Man’ musical ‘sucks’ — EXCLUSIVE
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ seeking focus group feedback — EXCLUSIVE
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’: Which review is the harshest?

Comments (27 total) Add your comment
  • Michael Sacal

    Turn off the Dark? More like Turn Off The Show.

    • Kendall

      who cares, all attention should be devoted to getting Firefly back on the air, I just got into it on Hulu = WOW, spread the word, lets get it back on the air

      • Grubi

        You sound like a spammer. Except you are promoting something that you don’t get any money out of.

    • Tom

      Oh yeah, I want to spend 300 dollars to see that! Dream on..

  • Kiki

    Ouch. I can’t think of any production (TV, film, or theater) that has been this spectacularly mishandled. All of it is incredibly unprofessional, even for the entertainment industry, which can be messy.

    • Michael Sacal

      Maybe Ishtar? lol

      • Michael Sacal

        Oh yeah, there’s always Waterworld, lol.

      • Brian

        At least Waterworld opened.
        And hey, glad to see this thing has an actual Spider-man writer on board, even though I still think this show is a bad idea and sounds very much like the emo-Spidey from the movies rather than eternal optimist/funny Spidey.

    • Nancy

      Bono sure got his money’s worth this time, didn’t he?

  • m.

    For the love of God….just END this thing.

  • sam

    It is time to end this mess. The music is terrible–they would need to start over with somebody who actually knows how to write a show. Bono can sell his overly dramatic stuff, but nobody else can sing it.

  • Nancy

    Is this show officially the worst thing Bono has ever been involved with?

    • Jake

      No, that was Across the Universe.

      • Mia

        The two are close in awfulness, but this is worse. Coincidently (or not) both were directed by Julie Taymor!

        Seriously, why is she working? She is ostentatious and is all style over substance.

      • grant

        “Titus” was amazing.

  • Brad

    Wow. This really was a Tennessee Williams play after all.

  • K

    This story is the Broadway equivalent of Charlie Sheen

    • MM

      Except that this thing could only be improved by throwing in a musical number involving Vatican warlock assassins.

  • Clay Aiken

    Make Spider Man gay and it will sell like hotcakes!

  • Craig

    It may just be time to cut their loses and just close the show.

  • Natalie

    I’m not very Broadway savvy. Can someone tell me the difference between a review and a show being open on Broadway? All of these articles make them sound like the same thing.

    • Mia

      The difference between a preview and a show being open on Broadway is that during a preview period, changes are generally being made. The show is not frozen. When a show opens, no further changes will be made. Traditionally, producers are also supposed to charge less for previews, but that doesn’t happen very often nowadays. (See: this show.) A major problem most people have with Spider-Man still in previews is the lack of changes being made despite the obviously terrible book and script.

      (Sorry for the LOOOONG explanation!)

      • Brad

        You were succinct, Mia; that was a nice, concise explanation.

  • Leah

    Bono and The Edge need to ditch this mess and tend to their crap fan club and the revolt happening within it. Nearly 2000 signatures and counting on the petition to give members what they pay for and they’re spending time on this?

  • ObiHave

    Here’s how it played out:
    Bono: Julie fix it. We can’t have our name asscociated with sh!te.
    Julie: Like your last album?
    Bono: She’s outta here.

  • John Berggren

    IMHO Julie Taymor was not the problem with this show. Ejecting her has just evaporated any interest I might have in the show.

  • scott

    I like how for years Bono’s been telling everyone they need to send money to Africa, but I guess those poor kids couldn’t use $70million.
    He said on 60 minutes that Julie was the only condition they had for doing the show. I guess that’s changed! Bono’s a big egomaniac and needs to go away. The story stinks, that Green Goblin costume stinks.

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