[Julie Taymor has officially left the Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark production. Scroll down for the update.]
For several years Broadway show fans and Spider-Man fans alike have been anxiously awaiting the official opening of famed Broadway director, Julie Taymor's Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.
After the show's opening was delayed for a fifth time, not to mention the growing number of cast and crew members who have jumped ship, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark producers may be preparing the proverbial hook for Taymor.
It can't be a decision the producers are taking lightly. Taymor is known as one of the biggest names on Broadway, with a number of multi-million dollar shows under her belt including The Lion King - not to mention successful movies such as Across the Universe.
However, it's been a long journey to the stage for Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, as Taymor as well as U2's Bono and The Edge began work on the production in 2002. Since that time, they've put together the most expensive production in Broadway history - a $65 million behemoth that has struggled with numerous on-set injuries, near-bankruptcy, derided preview performances, and a jaded response from Taymor and Spider-fans alike - especially after Taymor unveiled the bizarre visual aesthetic of the show.
With a mounting list of concerns, and loads of money up in the air, the Spider-Man: Turn Off TheDark producers are beginning to put significant pressure on Taymor to whip the production into shape - or face the possibility of being replaced.
According to a recent New York Times report, people close to the production believe:
"The producers saw the potential for major changes to the musical, which they hope to mount for years in productions around the world, and that Ms. Taymor either needed to accept help in making those changes or face a different outcome, potentially her exit from the show. The names of multiple directors, choreographers and playwrights have been ricocheting around the Broadway community for days now. It was not clear on Monday who would be hired."
Given Taymor's recent comments at the TED 2011 Conference, it seems clear that, while the director is aware of Spider-Man's problems, she's hopes to be the one to iron out the final wrinkles and help the struggling production take its place among her prior acclaimed shows:
“Anyone who creates knows — when it’s not quite there. Where it hasn’t quite become the phoenix or the burnt char. And I am right there.”
Despite all the in-fighting and production meltdowns, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark still has plenty of eager, or at least curious, fans who are anxiously awaiting the official opening - scheduled for one week from today March 15th. That said, there's almost no chance that the show will make the upcoming deadline - especially given the reported rancor between Taymor and the producers - as well as the various changes to the music and story that are still being discussed.
According to the New York Daily News, Taymor has officially walked away from Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark - though it's unclear whether or not she was fired or quit. That said, given Taymor's recent "phoenix" comment, it would seem that the director wanted to see the show through to the end - meaning the producers were the ones who pulled the plug.
Production will shut down temporarily but will resume as soon as the producers can find a suitable replacement. Additionally, according to the report, the March 15 opening will be bumped back three months - in order to allow the new director to whip the production into shape.
Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is scheduled to open, though it's extremely unlikely, on March 15th 2011.
Source: New York Times