Home Theater Exclusive: Julie Taymor Will Remain “Spider Man” Director and Co-Author

It does seem that Julie Taymor will stick to her original credits in “Spider Man.” Despite last week’s wild move to oust Taymor from the show she created, co-wrote and directed, sources tell me that the credits for “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark” are not going to change.

The “Spider Man” producer Michael Cohl and U2 singer Bono did bring in a script doctor, music supervisor and other new members for the creative team. But on Sunday night I learned that Taymor–even though she may not be present during changes to the lackluster book–will not lose her credits.

The negotiations are still ongoing, but this is the way it will go. And it has to: I’m told that the “Spider Man” producers have spent so much money that they don’t have a cash payout for Taymor anyway, sources say.

Frankly, it would have been inconceivable that she would lose the credits. Like it or not, “Spider Man” is Taymor’s show. And whatever changes are implemented during the three week break from April 19-May 11, the show can’t be overhauled completely. The staging, costumes, puppets, aerial special effects–that’s the show.

What can be changed is dialogue, and attitude. Some cuts can be made; scenes can be rearranged. Songs can be added and deleted. But three weeks is not enough time to, say, demolish a skyscraper and rebuild it.

What “Spider Man” needs is more of an editor than anything else. Do not kill the Arachne character; move her entire story to the second act. End Act 1 with the cliffhanger of the Green Goblin vs. Spider Man. Write in some funny business for Peter Parker and Mary Jane. Remove the word ‘Ovid’ from the show. Get rid of the dancing shoe sequence. Make it seem like Aunt May and Uncle Ben love Peter. Add in a couple of U2′s famous songs like “With You or Without You” and “Mysterious Way.”

PS Michael Riedel in Saturday’s New York Post was wrong, wrong, wrong. The character of Arachne was not based on Taymor. It’s ridiculous. Arachne was a character in “Spider Man” from the beginning. She’s had her own story comic books from Marvel. Really, get a grip.

By the way, I loved former Disney exec Peter Schneider’s take on the whole “Spider Man” situation. You can read it at http://tinyurl.com/6hmtngr

11 replies to this post
  1. @Barklet…I think that’s what Schneider is saying, at least in part…that the plot (with Spiderman) became secondary. “Looking back at that (Lion King) experience now, it is clear to me that we had an advantage over “Spider-Man.” We started out with a strong story, a coming-of-age tale filled with distinct characters who were driven by widely felt needs and emotions. All plays—and movies for that matter—succeed or fail on the power of their narratives.”

  2. Sorry but that Schneider column is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    “Instead, it was 10 little decisions that seemed inconsequential along the way but, in retrospect, turned out to have led him into a precarious and nearly fatal situation. ”

    Not having a plot is not a little problem. In 5 years and $65M someone would have pointed it out.

    In November at the previews everyone pointed it out, and yet the director and the producers ignored the issue.

    The Spiderman films grossed over $2.5B worldwide- its not like there is an absence of an existing story their that people love to see. All she had to do is mine that.

    The effects and the gymnastics should have been secondary to the story. Instead it was the other way around, which is why Turn off the Dark is on life support.

What do you think?