Spider-Man Producers File Suit Against Taymor

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January 18, 2012 | 7:30am EST

Producers behind Broadway’s Spider-Man musical have filed a counter-suit against Julie Taymor accusing the director of putting together a sub-standard show.
The Across the Universe helmer exited Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark last March, following numerous problems including accidents, delays and spiralling budget costs, while show bosses brought the curtain down to make a series of re-writes before relaunching a new version of the beleaguered production.

Taymor subsequently filed an arbitration claim against producers, alleging she had not been fully paid for her work, and she also filed a lawsuit accusing show bosses of violating her creative rights by continuing the show without paying her compensation.

However, producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah Harris have now filed a counter-suit against Taymor – alleging she put together a “dark”, “disjointed” and “hallucinogenic” production and refused to help make changes when it became clear the show was in trouble.

The legal papers state, “Taymor refused to develop a musical that followed the original, family-friendly Spider-Man story, which was depicted in the Marvel comic books and the hugely successful motion picture trilogy based on them… Instead, Taymor, who admits that she was not a fan of the Spider-Man story prior to her involvement with the musical, insisted on developing a dark, disjointed and hallucinogenic musical involving suicide, sex and death.”

In the documents, the producers also claim Taymor “caused numerous delays, drove up costs and failed to direct a musical about Spider-Man which could open on Broadway”.

Taymor’s attorney Charles Spada has called the claims in the counter-suit “baseless” and accuses producers of attempting to “besmirch (Taymor’s) reputation”.