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Julie Taymor could depart Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark

by  in Comic News Comment

Director Julie Taymor, who just last week said she was “in the crucible and the fire of transformation,” could be on her way out of the beleagured Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

According to The New York Times, producers were negotiating Monday for the Tony Award winner to work with an expanded creative team — including veteran musical supervisor Paul Bogaev and possibly playwright/comics writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa — to overhaul the much-delayed and derided $65 million production. They’re reportedly also deciding when to officially open, now that a sixth delay is inevitable.

The show was scheduled to open next Tuesday, a date described in January by lead producer Michael Cohl as “the final postponement,” but The Times notes that theater critics have not received invitations, which are typically sent about two weeks before.

Taymor’s departure would, of course, be a seismic change for the trouble musical, which she’s steered from its genesis in 2002 through near-bankruptcy, repeated delays, cast departures, prolonged previews, injuries and critical scorn. Along the way, she’s been called everything from a creative genius to a megalomaniac, all the while serving as a lightning rod for criticism.

By far the most expensive and technically complex show in Broadway history, Spider-Man added another superlative to the list on Sunday: With its 98th preview performance, it broke the record set in 1969 by Jackie Mason’s A Teaspoon Every Four Hours.