Kevin Mazur/WireImage.comFreak accidents, serious injuries, a convoluted plot, mediocre U2 tunes, and a chorus line of terrible reviews weren't enough to kill Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, but a surprise new villain has emerged that could mean the death of the Broadway show: Julie Taymor. The director, who first conceived the idea of bringing the Marvel hero to Broadway with U2's Bono and the Edge, is now suing the Spider-Man producers for "copyright infringement and breach of contract" after she was fired from the show in March, Reuters reports. Taymor feels producers have held out paying her the $300,000 in royalties she's owed, so she is seeking a permanent injunction that will prevent the show from using her elements -- storylines and dialogue -- without compensation.
While the show underwent a massive overhaul after Taymor was dismissed because of "previous commitments," there was only so much the new creative team could do in the two weeks they had to retool the entire production. While they did an admirable job of improving things, Taymor's trademark was still all over the show, even if she wasn't; at the time, everyone involved with Turn Off the Dark said that her exit was amicable and unavoidable, but it was clear that the split couldn't be more acrimonious, which this lawsuit now proves. Ironically. Taymor said at the premiere for the 50/50 in September, "I'm very proud of what I've done, and I'm proud of the people inside that show."
Taymor is seeking over a $1 million in damages in the suit. The show's producers, however, will likely fight the suit, as they have "repeatedly tried to resolve these issues. The production has indeed compensated Ms. Taymor for her contribution as a co-book writer," Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris said in a statement. While producers have already poured at least $65 million into this show, they also can't afford to let this situation linger, since as The Amp pointed out in February, Spider-Man would need to sell out every performance for the next 130 weeks after it opened just to break even. If Taymor's injunction were granted, that would put an end to any such streak.
Taymor might have to wait in line to get her money, though: Producers already facing another outstanding lawsuit over unpaid debts.