Talks remain ongoing at Broadway musical
The in-or-out question of helmer Julie Taymor’s future involvement with “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” may at last have come to a resolution: She looks finally to be out, according to the word among legiters.Producers and reps for the show haven’t officially confirmed, and it seems that early reports of her exit last night were premature given the ongoing nature of talks. Still, a number of people in the industry expected the director would eventually step aside, given Taymor’s exacting control of her creative work, including design elements. Taymor is credited as director, co-book writer (with Glen Berger) and mask designer. With songwriters Bono and The Edge, Taymor, who has been involved in the project for several years, is one of the progenitors of “Spider-Man.” Since that any overhaul of the show will likely include re-envisioning the story and at least some of the production’s design elements, it was never clear how open to collaboration and alterations Taymor would be. Said to be joining the creative team are Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (“Big Love”), whose comicbook writing credits include the “Spider-Man” titles that inspired the musical, as well as a director who’s now looking likely to be Christopher Ashley (“Memphis”), one of a list of candidates that also included Philip Wm. McKinley (“The Boy from Oz”). Production is widely believed to be shutting down for multiple weeks later this spring, with speculation putting the exact length of time anywhere between one week and five. It’s not yet clear as to the exact nature of the retooling to be done, and how much freedom new creatives will have, given the immense technical constraints of the big-budget tuner. For now, there’s still a host of legal questions to be resolved regarding Taymor’s ongoing attachment to the musical, and in what capacities she’ll continue to be credited. Official announcement of the plans for “Spider-Man” remain to be announced but are expected within the next couple of days. For the moment, opening night remains skedded for March 15.