Spider-Man Broadway Producers File Countersuit Against Julie Taymor

By Sean O'Connell 2012-01-18 07:51:38discussion comments
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The sordid story behind the Broadway hit Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ended up being far more scandalous and, by extension, captivating than the finished product. After negative reviews, delayed openings and serious injuries to key cast members, the battle behind Turn Off the Dark has shifted to the courtroom, where the web of intrigue’s about to get a whole lot stickier.

Producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris filed a countersuit in federal court against original director Julie Taymor as the finger pointing over the Broadway show’s rough patches escalates. Rolling Stone reports that Taymor sued the show’s producers for copywright infringement, claiming they’re misusing her written words. In their countersuit, Cohl and Harris say that Taymor so drastically departed from their original plans for the musical that they no longer sit on the same page.

"Taymor refused to develop a musical that followed the original, family-friendly Spider-Man story, which was depicted in the Marvel comic books and the hugely successful motion picture trilogy based on them," the legal papers read. "Instead, Taymor, who admits that she was not a fan of the Spider-Man story prior to her involvement with the musical, insisted on developing a dark, disjointed and hallucinogenic musical involving suicide, sex and death."

Clearly, there was a disconnect somewhere along the way from page to stage, and Turn Off the Dark took a beating in the press because of it. But this bit of back and forth benefits nobody, and really should be worked out somewhere other than our nation’s legal system. Because if Taymor’s dark, alternative vision of Spidey had clicked with audiences and earned Book of Mormon levels of income, do you think Cohl and Harris would be wasting time with a frivolous lawsuit?
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