It's official: Julie Taymor is out as director of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and the musical has postponed its opening night from March 15th to "an evening in early summer, 2011." The delay also allows the new creative team to do some major fine-tuning to the musical: Producers finally announced that Philip William McKinley and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (as expected) would work on staging and the book respectively, while musical consultant Paul Bogaev and sound designer Peter Hylenski would also join on to help turn the musical more into a musical. Bono and the Edge are reportedly working on additional music as well. In short, in a few months time, Spider-Man hopefully won't be the cast-injuring, money-hemorrhaging, critically maligned $65 million Broadway musical we all loved to tease for the past year.
Producers were obviously diplomatic about the Taymor exit, saying that "previous commitments" made it impossible for Taymor to stay on board while the musical underwent repairs, but anyone who's been following this debacle wouldn't be surprised to learn Taymor was forced out so she wouldn't stand in the way of new creative team's vision. The New York Times reports that those close to Taymor, who also directed "Lion King," said she was being "pushed aside" because of bad reviews and her refusal to budge on creative changes suggested by producers and her collaborators from U2.
But Bono and the Edge publicly sang the praises of Taymor, who along with the U2 duo had the unfortunate brainstorm to bring the web-slinger to the Big Apple. "Julie is a truly gifted and imaginative director. This is an epic ride, and the standing ovations we have seen from the preview audiences have confirmed our absolute faith in the project," the U2some said in a statement. "We are listening and learning and, as a result, we have a couple of new songs we are very very excited about putting into the mix. All of us on the creative team are committed to taking Spider-Man to the next level. We are confident it will reach its full potential and when it does, it will open."
Contrary to reports that the musical would shut down preview performances for the time being while they implement these new changes during rehearsals, it appears as though previews will still continue until Spider-Man's "early summer" opening; Ticketmaster is still offering daily tickets (besides Dark Mondays) for performances from March 16th until October 2nd, 2011. Green Day's American Idiot musical, however, was not so lucky: Billie Joe Armstrong's rock opera will close on April 24th.
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