Julie Taymor sues producers of ‘Spider-Man’ musical


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Director Julie Taymor, who was fired as the creative leader of the troubled musical ‘Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark,’ has sued the show’s producers, claiming her creative rights were violated and that she wasn’t compensated for her work.

Taymor, who directed the global theatrical blockbuster adaptation of ‘The Lion King,’ said in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in New York, that she was entitled to profits from the show as it was largely her creation, according to the Associated Press.


Update: Later on Tuesday producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris issued a statement responding. Read about it here.

Taymor, who worked for years with U2 musicians the Edge and Bono and co-writer Glen Berger to create the show’s music and book, was shown the door in March and replaced by Philip William McKinley, whose only other Broadway credit was the 2003 musical ‘The Boy From Oz,’ which starred Hugh Jackman.

Bono and the Edge stayed on with the production to revamp their songs, while playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa came in to help revise the book.

‘Spider-Man,’ which began preview performances last Nov. 28 in New York, was plagued by production delays, cast injuries and a spiraling budget that, at $75 million, made it the most expensive show in Broadway history. The rebooted version under McKinley’s guidance was not well-received by critics, but the show has generated steady ticket sales.

The Stage Director and Choreographers’ Society previously filed a claim against the producers, alleging that Taymor was owed royalties. This week’s lawsuit follows a decision by the administrators of the Tony Awards that only Taymor is eligible for the show’s best direction of a musical category.


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-- John Horn

Photos, from top: Julie Taymor (second from right) with her ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ collaborators (from left) the Edge, Bono and co-writer Glen Berger. Credit: Joan Marcus

Patrick Page, left, and Reeve Carney in a scene from ‘Spider-Man Turn off the Dark.’ Credit: Jacob Cohl