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.”

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also 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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