Unlike the U2 rockers and director Julie Taymor, Aguirre-Sacasa actually has some Spider-Man experience on his résumé -- he penned a few issues of the Marvel comic -- so he could lend some credibility to a superhero musical that strayed so far from the comic books, it actually invented its own villains. No one's under the illusion that Aguirre-Sacasa is on the level of comic legends like Stan Lee or Jack Kirby, but he does have a large and varied comic book history, and also penned issues of "Fantastic Four," "Nightcrawler," and the long-running graphic novel rendition of Stephen King's "The Stand." Aguirre-Sacasa's "Spider-Man: Back in Black" was well-reviewed -- which is more than we can say about his play "Based on a Totally True Story" -- and really how many playwrights these days double as comic book writers? Aguirre-Sacasa is pretty in-demand these days, having also written episodes of HBO's "Big Love" and been called in to work on the current Broadway adaptation of "American Psycho."
Ever since the critics' reviews arrived, Taymor has been implementing changes during preview performances, like cutting an entire scene in the second act that muddled the plot line. U2 have also been working on new music for the show after their "Spider-Man" songs were compared to "a sustained electronic twang of varying volume, increasing and decreasing in intensity, like a persistent headache" by the New York Times. Even with all these changes, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" still plans to open on March 15th, and despite all the controversy, high-price tickets continue to sell out.
- Julie Taymor