Just when it looked as if the long-troubled Spider-Man musical finally had gotten back on track, it's been dealt another blow: Evan Rachel Wood, who had been cast as Mary Jane Watson, has dropped out of the $52-million production.
Variety reported on the departure of the True Blood actress Tuesday afternoon. Producers for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark issued a statement citing "a scheduling conflict," and said that casting has begun for a new Mary Jane.
The ambitious musical, possibly the most expensive in Broadway history, originally was set to open this month at the Hilton Theatre in New York City. However, "cash-flow obstacles" pushed that date to sometime this fall.
Directed by The Lion King's Julie Taymor and scored by Bono and the Edge, Spider-Man stars relative newcomer Reeve Carney as Peter Parker and Alan Cumming as Green Goblin.
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 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.