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Don't expect Disney to rescue Spider-Man musical

If you thought the Disney-Marvel deal could mean a lifeline for the troubled Spider-Man musical -- I'm looking at you, Bono -- you might want to think again.

Variety reports that while yesterday's big announcement prompted speculation on Broadway, Disney is unlikely to take control of the big-budget Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which has halted work while producers try to navigate "cash-flow obstacles."

But why wouldn't Walt Disney Theatrical Productions -- the division behind such successful live productions as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King -- lend a white glove-covered hand? Gordon Cox counts off the reasons, not the least of which is Marvel's existing agreement with Sony Pictures Productions.

"Besides," Cox writes, "it's understood that Marvel ... is just licensing the property, and was never on the hook to contribute any coin to the mega-musical's hefty capitalization costs, considered to be north of $35 million. It's a risk-free fiscal position that would seem foolish to abandon."

The musical, directed by Julie Taymor (Disney's The Lion King) and featuring music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge, reportedly is still set to begin previews on Feb. 25, and open sometime in March.

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