In yet another blow to the long-troubled Broadway musical, actor Alan Cumming has withdrawn from Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark because of a scheduling conflict.
A veteran stage actor who portrayed Nightcrawler in 2003’s X2: X-Men United, Cumming was set to play Green Goblin in the delay-plagued production. However, Entertainment Weekly reports that over the weekend Cumming decided he couldn’t juggle Spider-Man and his expanded role in the CBS drama The Good Wife. The actor’s departure from the $52-million musical comes a little more than a month after that of Evan Rachel Ward, who had been cast as Mary Jane Watson. She, too, cited a scheduling conflict.
The ambitious musical, directed by The Lion King‘s Julie Taymor and scored by U2’s Bono and the Edge, originally was set to open in March at the Hilton Theatre in New York City. However, “cash-flow obstacles” pushed the date to sometime this fall.
Production was stopped in August while producers sought more money for a budget that ballooned from $35 million. In November, Bono’s longtime business partner Michael Cohl was brought onboard to put the show back on track. According to a January report, Disney stepped in to provide “a chunk” of the financing for the musical, whose producers include Marvel and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Spider-Man, possibly the most expensive musical in Broadway history, will cost about $1 million a week to produce — hundreds of thousands of dollars more than elaborate shows like Mary Poppins and West Side Story — and require the 1,700-seat Hilton to sell out for every show for four years just to break even.
The musical still has its Peter Parker: Reeve Carney, the lead singer of the band Carney who appeared in the 1999 film Snow Falling on Cedars. He and Cumming also have roles in Taymor’s upcoming adaptation of The Tempest.
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