‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ Closing In January: WSJ

By | Monday November 18, 2013 @ 5:37pm PST

The highest of high-profile musicals, whose beginnings were worthy of their own Broadway drama, is set to shut down after this year’s holiday season ends. The producers will make it official this week, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. In … Read More »

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Julie Taymor’s Lawsuit Against ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ Settled

By | Wednesday April 10, 2013 @ 9:10am PDT

Exiled director Julie Taymor sued the producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark in November 2011. The rock musical’s helmer, book co-writer and mask designer claimed her creative rights were violated and she was not compensated for her work … Read More »

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Julie Taymor Returns To Stage To Direct ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’

By | Wednesday January 23, 2013 @ 3:32pm PST

When last we saw Julie Taymor she had turned to the courts over her public departure from Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, where she was director, co-book writer and mask-designer for the rock musical. Production woes and … Read More »

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UDPATE: Julie Taymor’s Writer Royalty Dispute With ‘Spider-Man’ Producers Gets Trial Date

By | Friday February 17, 2012 @ 2:00pm PST

UPDATE, 2 PM: A Manhattan judge has set a January 7, 2013 trial date for Taymor’s suit against the show’s producers over her royalties as co-book writer of the Broadway musical. She claims she is owed at almost $3000 a week from April 2011 to the present. … Read More »

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‘Spider-Man’ Lawsuit Web Thickens As Stage Producers Countersue Julie Taymor

By | Tuesday January 17, 2012 @ 2:02pm PST
Mike Fleming

The musical Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark is thriving on Broadway, but now there’s more negative attention. The producers of the musical have answered the original lawsuit filed by director and book co-writer Julie Taymor after she was fired. The … Read More »

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Julie Taymor Sues Producers Of Broadway’s ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’

By | Tuesday November 8, 2011 @ 1:36pm PST

Back in March, the official release outlining the retooling of the massive and plagued Broadway production Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark touted a new direction and a new director to replace Julie Taymor. And when the revamp finally made … Read More »

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Holy Moses! ‘Spider-Man’ Stage Helmer Tackles Old Testament And Swears Spidey Won’t Go Down As Flop Of Biblical Proportions

By | Tuesday August 16, 2011 @ 1:29pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Philip William McKinley, the stage director who replaced Julie Taymor and stopped the bleeding — literally and figuratively — on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, will next tackle something even more iconic than a superhero saga: The Old Testament. He’s directing The Bible: The Beginning, a live show scaled for arena-sized venues that will use music, dialogue, tumblers, jugglers, singers, aerialists and fighters to re-enact the Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah’s Ark, Moses and his clash with the Pharaoah, the plagues of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea, all culminating in the delivery of The Ten Commandments. The musical will be narrated by Gabriel the Messenger; Raphael the Healer; and Michael, Leader of God’s armies.

The show will be more logistically complex than Spider-Man, which, McKinley swears, won’t need a miracle to recoup a mammoth budget pegged at $70 million before it opened. “We are selling out every night, consistently drawing $1.7 million each week and finishing behind Wicked and The Lion King,” he said. “Right now, it’s all about maintenance and being incredibly conscientious. We’ve got the New York Department of Labor in the building for every show still, but we’ve taken safety to heart.”

Since the show’s operating costs are in the range of $1.2 million per week, Spider-Man will need a loooong run for its investors to be made whole. That effort to recoup will be helped by broadening beyond Broadway, something McKinley said he’ll help facilitate when the time is right. While Spider-Man hardly drew raves when it opened after umpteenth delays — including a three-week shutdown McKinley needed to implement changes — the director feels that the musical that was driven as much by visual effects as music by U2′s Bono and The Edge has turned a corner from being a cautionary tale about the limits of live theater to a model for what is possible. The Bible will push that envelope further, even though it’s too large to fit in a Broadway venue. Read More »

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ICM’s Jeff Berg Signs Director Julie Taymor

No doubt that the theater, opera, and film director is both a genius and a handful. Julie Taymor was recently replaced as director of Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark after the accident-plagued musical became known as the most … Read More »

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Is ‘Spider-Man’ Biggest Broadway Debacle?

By | Wednesday June 15, 2011 @ 6:48am PDT
Mike Fleming

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark finally opened on Broadway on Tuesday night. There was a star-studded crowd that included Bill Clinton, a 10-minute standing ovation, and even deposed director Julie Taymor got up to take a bow. And, thank goodness, no actors fell from the rafters. A press release from the show’s reps reports that “critics and audiences cheer[ed] the opening,” and offered a few effusive blurbs from USA Today, MTV and NY1 News. Well, first of all, they weren’t reading the reviews I saw. In The New York Times (generally the review that helps a show fly or die), Ben Brantley compared its earlier incarnation to now as an “ascent from jaw-dropping badness to mere mediocrity,” but that isn’t a rave since he likened that earlier version to “watching the Hindenburg crash and burn.” The Wall Street Journal called the book “flabby and witless” and, as for the plot, “everything that happens is utterly familiar and utterly predictable.” To sum up, the WSJ offers that “$70 million and nearly nine years of effort, all squandered on a damp squib. … Never in the history of Broadway has so much been spent to so little effect.” The other Gotham papers basically said it was better than it was when Taymor was calling the shots, but essentially that its edge (not to be confused with U2′s The Edge) had been varnished away, leaving blandness and U2 songs that aren’t the catchiest that Bono and The Edge ever came up with. Read More »

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‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ Goes Dark For Three Weeks To Make Changes

Mike Fleming

Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark has shut down for a three-week hiatus, a performance stoppage that had been expected. The show will implement all the changes from the original Julie Taymor-directed musical that were made by replacement director Philip … Read More »

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Broadway ‘Spider-Man’ Producers Announce Retooling And New Director, With Bogus Claim Julie Taymor Isn’t Out

By | Wednesday March 9, 2011 @ 5:11pm PST
Mike Fleming

New York, NY – Lead producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris announced today that SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark has a newly expanded creative team in place. The team will be implementing a new plan to make significant and exciting revisions to the production. Opening night (previously set

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BREAKING: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Hired To Rework ‘Spider-Man’ Musical

Mike Fleming

I’m told that the producers of the troubled Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have hired Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to rewrite the book originally done by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger.  Considering that one of the criticisms of the show … Read More »

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Spidey Delays Broadway Bow–Again!

Mike Fleming

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has delayed its February 7 opening, yet again. This time, opening night will be March 15 as Julie Taymor and her creative collaborators including U2′s Bono and The Edge try to work more bugs out … Read More »

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U2 Producer Steve Lillywhite Joins Broadway ‘Spider-Man’ Web

Mike Fleming

Steve Lillywhite, the British record producer who has collaborated with U2 on eight albums, has been brought in by Bono and Julie Taymor to work with the performers on the music for the $65 million Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.  … Read More »

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‘Spider-Man’s’ Broadway Bow Delayed Until February 7

Mike Fleming

As expected, the much-troubled Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark has delayed its opening night from January 11, 2011 to Monday, February 7. The $65 million musical, which has found itself more under a microscope than just about any Broadway-bound musical … Read More »

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Disney’s Stealth Screening For ‘Tempest’

Don’t you hate when this happens? A DGA member emailed me that last night he went to what was advertised as a “special screening of The Tempest paid for by Touchstone Pictures” at the Writers Guild Theatre featuring a Q&A after the screening with director Julie Taymor and stars Helen Mirren, … Read More »

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Spidey Gets Broadway Opening Date

Mike Fleming

Despite all the skepticism it would ever get to Broadway because of its prohibitive running costs, Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark has been set to begin preview performances on November 14, with opening night set for December 21. Julie Taymor … Read More »

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‘Tempest’ Gets Venice Invite & Skedded

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Disney announced today that the Touchstone pic The Tempest directed by Julie Taymor is now dated for December 10th exclusive and December 17 for limited expansion.

Taymor has her hands full trying to get Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark to Broadway this upcoming season. But she’ll detour to Italy, where her film The Tempest is set as the closing film of the Venice Film Festival. Taymor’s Shakespeare adaptation stars Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Alfred Molina, Chris Cooper, Djimon Honsou, and Reeve Carney. She set the latter to play Spider-Man in the pricey Broadway musical with music and lyrics by U2′s Bono and The Edge. Venice has bookended its fest with Taymor and the opener Black Swan, the Darren Aronofsky-directed drama.

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