Home Celebrity “Spider Man” Civil War: Negotiating Taymor Exit and Saving Troubled Musical

Two hours ago, a lead investor for “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark” told me: “We want Julie Taymor to stay.” He said that it was his opinion that it would be good for her and good for the production. An hour ago, the New York Times posted a blog saying that Taymor was out, and was negotiating her exit. “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark” is in turmoil. Getting rid of Taymor is an pr nightmare since it’s her show. Bringing in new creative people to re think a $65 million show that was already created by someone else has run for 100 performances? This is a nightmare. What’s going on? It does seem as though Michael Cohl, who comes from a rock and roll background, has cut ties with Taymor and headed in the direction of Bono and The Edge. Taymor knows Broadway and opera; Cohl knows rock and roll (he’s currently fighting with Live Nation over who has the rights to the next Rolling Stones tour). Is “SpiderMan” a Broadway show or a rock concert? Is it a musical or a spectacle? These are questions that have never been answered. But maybe the answer is coming, depending on who triumphs in turning off the chaos that has plagued this show from the beginning. My source says: “We want this to run 20 years, not 2 years. We want Julie to stay and be part of the team, but we have to fix this thing.”

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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