Reeve Carney to play lead role in musical

Music industry vet Michael Cohl has joined megabudget tuner “Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark” as the new lead producer, and thesp Reeve Carney has been cast as Peter Parker in the financially challenged show, which producers have confirmed is still expected to happen.

They didn’t, however, peg an exact date for the musical’s bow, saying only it will open in 2010 at Broadway’s Hilton Theater.

In a statement that came out of a much buzzed-about meeting of producers and creatives on Friday, the show’s backers said they expect to have full financing for the hugely ambitious endeavor in place in the near future, at which point the musical will resume full production.

Jeremiah J. Harris, already on the producing team of “Spider-Man,” has moved up the list of producers to second in line behind Cohl (“November,” “Monty Python’s Spamalot”). Former lead producer Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle is now listed third.

Cohl, the former chairman of Live Nation, has worked in the past with U2, whose members Bono and the Edge penned the songs for “Spider-Man.”

Carney collaborated with “Spider-Man” helmer Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”) on the director’s upcoming film version of “The Tempest,” in which he plays shipwrecked prince Ferdinand. He joins a cast that includes previously announced thesps Alan Cumming (as villain Green Goblin) and Evan Rachel Wood (as Parker’s paramour Mary Jane).

Cohl comes aboard a technically enormous production that has had a bumpy ride since the project was announced. Work on the tuner, with a budget estimated by observers to be in the $50 million range and running costs expected to hit a sky-high $1 million per week, was halted over the summer due to what producers called cash flow issues.

Production did not pick up again until last month — a significant delay for a musical that had announced a Feb. 25 start date. It’s generally thought that the show, which had initially looked to be the behemoth of the season, now won’t make it to the boards until sometime after the Tony cutoff in late April.

Current list of “Spider-Man” producers includes Cohl, Harris, Garfinkle, Marvel Entertainment/David Maisel and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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