Like in any great theater production, the conflict between director Julie Taymor and the producers of the Broadway production of Spider-Man peaked in intensity just before the resolution. A tentative deal settling a dispute over her role in the musical was disclosed in a document filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. It said the case could be reopened within two months if the agreement breaks down. Settlement terms were not released.
Dale Cendali, lead attorney for the producers, said she could not comment on the agreement in principle, except to confirm that it was reached Thursday.
The stage seemed set for a January trial.
Just last week, lawyers for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark wrote that “the lesson Spider-Man offers us — that with great power, comes great responsibility — appears to have been lost on Taymor, who continues to seek to avoid her obligations.”
And that court filing came not long after lawyers for Taymor complained that the producers in a counterclaim had “launched a full-scale attack on Taymor aimed at assassinating her character and seeking to hold her singly responsible — financially and reputationally — for the musical’s problems.”
Taymor filed the lawsuit in November, saying her copyrighted written works were violated when she was fired last year and the musical’s script was rewritten after the $75 million production had trouble getting past previews. The musical has since become a success. She was seeking damages exceeding $1 million.
Taymor sued the producers in November and they countersued, saying Taymor’s treatment was based on pre-existing Spider-Man comics and films. In the countersuit, lawyers said Bono and Edge of the rock band U2 had originally suggested Taymor serve as the musical’s director, and she joined the production team in 2004, writing a three-page treatment.