No final settlement yet over Broadway's "Spider-Man"

Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:57pm EST
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By Bernard Vaughan and Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Producers of "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" have for now resumed litigation with the Broadway musical's ousted director Julie Taymor after failing to reach a final settlement of their litigation, court records show.

The development comes five months after Taymor reached a settlement in principle with 8 Legged Productions, the producer, in her copyright infringement case.

The "parties' efforts to finalize a settlement have not yet been successful," Charles Spada, a lawyer for Taymor, wrote in a January 9 letter to U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan. But he said both sides were "hopeful that a final settlement can be reached within the next few days."

The letter was made public on Thursday, and a trial is scheduled to begin on May 27.

The musical got off to a rough start in 2010 that included opening night delays, poor early reviews, injuries to actors and the firing of Taymor, who had previously won a Tony Award for directing "The Lion King." She sued 8 Legged Productions in November 2011.

Any settlement is conditioned on 8 Legged Productions reaching a separate agreement with Marvel Entertainment, a unit of Walt Disney Co, to extend its license to produce the musical in other venues, Spada wrote in a December 19 letter to the judge, also made public on Thursday.

At that time, Marvel and 8 Legged Productions had been close to finalizing such an agreement, the letter said.

Dale Cendali, a lawyer for 8 Legged Productions, said settlement talks were continuing, and both sides hope to settle in the near future. She declined to say why a final settlement has not been reached.   Continued...

Former director of the musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" Julie Taymor poses at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 2011 Governors Awards in Hollywood, California November 12, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok