Broadway somehow managed to compress the fantasy epic that is J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings into a three-hour musical extravaganza on stage – so why wouldn’t its song & dance show Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark eventually come to fruition as well?
The Spider-Man musical has long been in development and was previously rumored to be on indefinite hold due to exorbitant production costs. That is no longer the case, as the comic book-turned-stage show will begin preview performances on November 14th, while opening night is scheduled for December 21st.
Turn Off The Dark is being directed by Julie Taymor, who will also return to movie theaters this awards season with her new cinematic take on a Shakespearean work, The Tempest. The Across the Universe auteur was also responsible for the unique visual design of Disney’s The Lion King Broadway musical, so that is (relatively) encouraging.
Taymor also co-wrote the play book for the show, which will feature music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge. If the idea of Spider-Man and Green Goblin duking it out on a stage while rhythmic intonations that sound eerily similar to the beat of “Vertigo” play in the background sounds odd, just wait until you see Iron Man belt out showtunes by Sting (just kidding – for now).
If Turn Off The Dark is successful, will other Marvel superheroes be making their way to Broadway as well? The transition from comic book to live theater is certainly not as natural as that to film – not that it will matter, should Spider-Man break a leg during his opening night on stage.
Moviegoers can at least take comfort in this – while tickets to see Marc Webb’s upcoming Spider-Man reboot on a 3D screen might cost a few extra bucks, it cannot compare to the $140 that some Broadway patrons will be coughing up to see Spidey dance a jig on stage.