Spider-Man Musical Producers Turn Off The Lawyers As Lawsuit With Show’s Creator Is Settled
It’s been almost two years since the troubled Spider-Man musical, Turn Off The Dark, opened for previews for the first time, giving audiences a glimpse at a show at once ambitious and (dangerously) ill-considered. It’s been just shy of eighteen months since original director Julie Taymor was ousted from the production amid last-minute revisions and rewrites. Only now, though, can Taymor say goodbye to the wall-crawler, as the lawsuits surrounding her removal have finally been settled.Taymor launched her legal action against the show’s producers, 8-Legged Productions, in November of last year after months of arbitration over what she claimed were unpaid royalties over her contribution to the final version of the show (having written and directed the original version of the show, she was bumped to being listed as a co-writer with Glen Berger and sometime comic writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa when the show opened). Taymor asserted that she was not only owed financial compensation for her efforts, but that she also had a claim to copyright of the underlying material in the show.
That lawsuit led to two subsequent lawsuits. Firstly, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union filed a similar suit against the show’s producers, that was settled in February of this year, with Taymor being offered additional royalties and given a compensation plan for any subsequent productions of the show outside of its original run. However, not everything seemed to be going in Taymor’s favor, as 8-Legged filed a countersuit against the director claiming that her lack of professionalism had created the troubles for the show in the first place, leading to “superhuman efforts” being needed to bring the show to its current state (That suit was reportedly settled in March of this year).
Terms of the settlement between Taymor and 8-Legged are unknown as yet, but considering that the production remains the most expensive show in Broadway history, it’s almost certain that peace between these two factions didn’t come cheap. We can only hope that Taymor decides to make a song and dance about all the details after the fact.