‘Spider-Man’ legal case, starring Julie Taymor, gets underway

The legal case pitting director Julie Taymor against the producers of the Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” is underway in a federal court in New York. Though the trial isn’t scheduled to begin until early next year, a judge presided over a two-hour preliminary hearing on Friday during which lawyers for both sides spelled out their cases.

Taymor was removed from the director’s chair of the mega-musical in 2011 following a protracted preview period and a number of technical mishaps. The director has since sued producers of the show, claiming copyright violation and a portion of the profits from the show.

The producers, Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris, have filed a countersuit in federal court against Taymor, accusing her of failing to fulfill her contractual obligations on the Broadway musical.


Reports from Friday’s hearing stated that U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest is weighing a few matters, including whether to throw out a three-page treatment that Taymor wrote for the musical that is part of her copyright claim.

“Spider-Man,” whose budget is now estimated at $75 million, is currently running at the Foxwoods Theatre in New York. Following Taymor’s abrupt departure from the show, a new director and writer were brought in to overhaul the production, which officially opened in June 2011.

Taymor, who wasn’t in court Friday, has claimed that the show’s producers engaged in fraud, secretly conspiring to oust her while using and changing her work without properly compensating her.

Taymor worked for years with U2 musicians the Edge and Bono and co-writer Glen Berger to create the show’s music and book, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” is up for two nominations at Sunday’s Tony Awards, for scenic design and costume


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