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Spider-Man director makes claim for royalties

By | Published on Monday 13 June 2011

'Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark'

I’ve no real desire to see the ill-fated Broadway musical ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’, but when they make a film about its production, reserve me a seat.

In the latest twist, the original director of the show, Julie Taymor, probably best known for directing the stage version of ‘The Lion King’, has made a claim through her union for allegedly unpaid royalties from the show, which is finally due to open properly this week after months of false-starts and delays, and a record breaking 180 preview performances.

Taymor, of course, was eased out of the show’s production team in March after critics – who had paid to get tickets to the previews – generally panned the show. As previously reported, Bono, who co-wrote the show’s music with The Edge, recently admitted he shared many of the reservations about the original production mentioned in those negative reviews. A new creative team has been reworking things ahead of this week’s official launch.

But however disappointing the show may have been under Taymor’s direction, she still co-wrote the original script, and is due royalty payments on each performance. And those, The Stage Directors And Choreographers Society said in a complaint last week, have not been paid, Taymor having only received her original $125,000 director’s fee so far.

The show’s producers, which include legendary rock promoter Michael Cohl, who together have sunk millions into this yet-to-open show, are yet to respond to Taymor’s union’s claim.