What’s the saying, more money, more problems? Yeah, I feel that sums up Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark‘s issues nicely. Imagine if you will this Spider-Man train wreck being made for a fraction of the mind-boggling millions, chances are it wouldn’t have been analyzed intently under the crushing media microscope and we might not have been aware of the show’s every misstep. But we probably would have of anyway, it’s fate must have been sealed long ago. Like when they announced a Spider-Man musical, what? I love Spider-Man and I love musical theatre, but that doesn’t guarantee the two together are awesome.
New York’s NY1 is reporting Julie Taymor has left the Broadway production but the means of her exit are still unknown. She might have left or been fired, or she might have left with the threat of being fired. Either way it’s a huge blow to her career and the problematic production. Just yesterday we mentioned heavy changes were to come to the show’s story and it was unknown whether Taymor would be on board for those adjustments or not. Guess what, she won’t.
NY1’s “On Stage” producer Frank Dillela said,
…this is a huge blow for her reputation. She’s an incredible talent, well known both here on Broadway and on film, as well as in the opera world, so she’s a significant presence for the art community and for her to be removed from a production is a very big deal.
While I was never thrilled by the idea of a singing web-slinger I am a fan of Taymor’s work and I’m sorry to see her leave a big name production under so much scrutiny. Her body of work speaks for itself, she’s an amazing visionary and director. The Broadway production of The Lion King, films Titus and Across the Universe, these are all favorites of mine and wouldn’t be as excellent with someone else in charge. Comics Alliance even points out, “Turn Off the Dark’s aesthetics and unusually spectacular stunts (when they work) are among the very few things about which audiences and critics have expressed anything positive.” Which makes a lot of sense since these areas Taymor’s strongest. I just don’t think Taymor was the best choice for a Spider-Man musical, if there should even be one at all. I wrote last week about the writing talent being tapped for the new Batman Live arena show and they’re all writers with experience writing for comics and other comic based mediums. DC is making the smart choice of picking people who are very, very familiar with the characters and their world. And Batman won’t be singing, another very smart move.
Are you sad to see Taymor go or do you think she’s ruined what could have been Spider-Man’s musical spectacular? The opening night has been pushed back, again, to June. Meaning it’s completely out of the running for the Tony’s (like anyone thought it would win). Will this be the final delay? Who knows? I’m more excited for The Spidey Project anyhow.