Image Credit: Joan MarcusAfter days of reports speculating on the fate of the embattled Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the show’s producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris officially announced today that Julie Taymor will no longer be continuing her day-to-day duties as the director and co-book writer. The $65 million show will under go “significant” revisions, and the opening night has been pushed from March 15 to a non-specified date in “early summer, 2011.” As such, the producers stated that “Julie’s previous commitments mean that past March 15th, she cannot work the 24/7 [schedule] necessary to make the changes in the production in order to be ready for our opening.” Cohl and Harris are clear, however, that Taymor “is not leaving the creative team.”
In her place, however, director Philip William McKinley (The Boy From Oz) has stepped in to “implement new staging” and playwright and Spider-Man comic book scribe Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa will handle “book rewrites.” Paul Bogaev (Tarzan, Aida) and Peter Hylenski (Elf, Rock of Ages) have also joined the production as a musical consultant and sound designer, respectively.
Bono and The Edge, who wrote the production’s music and lyrics, have announced that they are writing “a couple of new songs we are very very excited about putting into the mix.” They also praise Taymor as a “truly gifted and imaginative director.”
The show, meanwhile, remains in previews at Broadway’s Foxwoods Theatre, with tickets priced from $67.50 to $135, and there is no indication in the release as to when, or if, the production would suspend previews to implement and rehearse the announced changes. As for when Spidey will get a firm new opening date, all Bono and The Edge had to say was this: “We are confident [the show] will reach its full potential and when it does, it will open.”