The legal troubles for Broadway's $75 million mega-musical, "Spider-Man: Turn off The Dark," may be finally coming to an end.
Julie Taymor, the ousted co-writer and director of the musical, sued producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris in November 2011. Her lawsuit claims copyright infringement and demands a seven-figure sum in damages, in addition to past and future royalties. Taymor is well known for directing Walt Disney's "Lion King," a Broadway musical for which she won two Tony Awards. (See: The Lion Roars: Taymor on the Lion King's 15 Years)
After interviews with both Taymor's attorney Charles T. Spada and Dale Cendali, the lawyer for production company 8 Legged Productions, it seems both sides can agree on one thing — a final settlement will be announced in the next day or so.
The lawsuit is not the only setback the $75 million "Spider-Man" production faced, though.
The musical's record-breaking price-tag, famous director and the musical involvement of rockstar group Bono and the Edge, instantly thrust "Spider-Man" into national headlines. But then came one problem after another — Taymor's dismissal, show stopping injuries, major revisions, opening delays and negative reviews. Despite the difficulties, the rock musical that retells Marvel Entertainment's comic book hero remains one of the top-five grossing Broadway shows of the past two years.
Before the show's opening performance, Taymor was dismissed as director in March 2011. The previews shut down for three weeks for revisions. According to Taymor's complaint, even after revisions, the musical still includes over 350 original lines of dialogue co-authored by her.
In response to the most recent extension request in December, Judge Katherine B. Forrest hand-wrote, "But really, truly, I mean it. This is the last extension."
The divide between Spidey's producers and their former director has been difficult to bridge. The tension between the two camps still runs deep, which became obvious when both sides opened up to CNBC's
Asked by Bartiromo how the producers could have prevented things from turning so ugly, Cohl said, "Holy smokes. Not use Julie … I'm not sure there's a whole lot we could done."
Cohl went on to explain how he claims the producers tried to give Taymor the freedom to make the "Spider-Man" musical a success, "We showed up a lot but we let Julie have her way. And everybody told us how she behaves the best and creates the best in crisis. And we're sitting their feeling the crisis, but you let Picasso paint."
When Bartiromo shared some of the producer's thoughts on Taymor and her role in the production, the director was visibly upset.
"What's on the stage, I own," she said. "I'm still very proud of what I did with my collaborators."
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