The first official announcement of the “Spider-Man” musical has confirmed the show’s February 2010 opening at Broadway’s Hilton Theater — although at this point, one of the only bits of news revealed about the much-discussed project is the fact that the tuner has a subtitle.
“Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark” begins previews Jan. 16 ahead of a Feb. 18 opening, a minor delay from the late 2009 start date many legiters expected.
No casting has been confirmed, although Evan Rachel Wood has talked up her role in the project. No deals are in place, but many legiters anticipate Wood will play Spidey’s love interest Mary Jane Watson opposite Jim Sturgess as Peter Parker.
A massive, megabudget production helmed by Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”) with music and lyrics by Bono and the Edge (both of the band U2), “Spider-Man” reps the first foray into legit both for Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio behind the blockbuster trilogy of pics, and Marvel Entertainment, the company whose line of comic books launched Spidey.
Scenic design for “Spider-Man” is by George Tsypin, the prolific opera designer whose first Rialto outing, the set for “The Little Mermaid,” had its share of detractors among legiters. Also a sculptor and architect, Tsypin has previously worked with Taymor on opera productions of “The Magic Flute” and “Grendel,” among others.
Also on the creative team are lighting designer Donald Holder (“Lion King”), sound designer Jonathan Deans (“Young Frankenstein,” “Fosse”) and costumer Eiko Ishioka (“M. Butterfly”), who picked up an Oscar for outfitting 1992 pic “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” Daniel Ezralow (“Across the Universe,” “The Green Bird”) choreographs.
Taymor, for whom “Spider-Man” is the first Broadway outing since “The Green Bird” in 2000, co-writes the book with Glen Berger, whose 2001 play “Underneath the Lintel” ran for more than a year Off Broadway. Score for the musical is the first Rialto output for Bono and the Edge.
Based on the Marvel comics property, the plot of “Spider-Man” remains sketchy outside of the fact that the show will retell the superhero’s origin story, about a nerdy teen bitten by a radioactive spider. Storyline is said to include mythical elements not seen in the Sam Raimi pics, the first of which was released in 2002.
Capitalization costs for the production remain unconfirmed, although the tuner is said to come in north of $35 million.
Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Martin McCallum, Marvel Entertainment/David Maisel, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Jeremiah Harris produce in association with Omneity Entertainment/Richard Weinberg, the Mayerson/Gould/Hauser/Tysoe Group, Patricia Lambrecht and Jam Theatricals/S2BN Entertainment.
Wood and Sturgess co-starred in Taymor’s 2007 pic “Across the Universe,” a musical that drew its song list from the Beatles catalog.
Although superhero tales are now fodder for Hollywood, they’re far rarer onstage. Charles Strouse’s Superman musical, “It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman” ran only a few months in 1966, and gestating musicals about Batman and Captain America never made it to the boards.