Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Producers Sue Julie Taymor; Should Win Best Sentence in a Legal Document Award
It’s hard to deny that Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark‘s long and frequently disastrous production seemed to improve precipitously after the departure of original director Julie Taymor, and the musical just raked in the biggest single-week box office in Broadway history. That week was the days between Christmas and New Years, quite the popular time to go see a show… also a pretty popular time to visit New York if you’re not generally just hanging around the Tri-State area.
Taymor is in the process of suing the current showrunners for making “unauthorised and unlawful use” of her work, and the producers are suing her right back. Broadly they’re suing her for breach of contract by not listening to producer concerns, but specifically for, wait for it, insisting on “on developing a dark, disjointed and hallucinogenic musical involving suicide, sex and death.”
So, like Phantom of the Opera? Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, West Side Story? Oklahoma? Okay, as far as I remember, nobody commits suicide in Oklahoma, and it’s not really that dark, but it totally has a hallucination scene. The Nightmare Before Christmas?
Man, why hasn’t The Nightmare Before Christmas been made into a Broadway production yet? There’s gotta be a set designer out there dying to make that curly hill. But I digress.
The purpose of all this isn’t to say that Taymor didn’t make a bad musical, and in fact, “dark, hallucinogenic, suicide, sex and death” is only very rarely going to work as a Spider-Man story, and then probably only as a subversion of a usual tone… not something that you can just put into a show intended for general audiences who may or may not be familiar with the Wall Crawler in the first place. It’s just that musicals, even popular musicals, have regularly been dark, hallucinogenic stories with references to suicide, sex, and death.
Taylor’s lawyer maintains these counterclaims are baseless, so I assume this legal process will be completed too the satisfaction of all parties concerned very soon. People are basically reasonable anyway.
Now, about that Nightmare Before Christmas Musical…
(via BBC News.)