Producers, ousted director of Broadway's "Spiderman" settle dispute

Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:52pm EDT
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By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The producers of Broadway's "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" have reached a settlement with Julie Taymor, the musical's ousted director and co-author, in a copyright dispute stemming from the show's troubled debut, the parties said on Wednesday.

The terms of the settlement in the long-running dispute were not made public, according to spokesmen for Taymor and the producers.

"Spider-Man," now a hit, got off to a disastrous start in 2010 with actors sustaining injuries during high-wire stunts, repeated delays in having an opening night, and critical ridicule.

The show's producers fired Taymor in March 2011. She had received a Tony Award for best direction of a Musical for her work on "The Lion King" and had worked for years to bring "Spider-Man" to Broadway.

Taymor filed suit in U.S. District Court accusing 8 Legged Productions, the production company of lead producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah Harris, and Glen Berger, her former co-author, of infringing on her copyright by retaining much of her original libretto in what was described as a revamped production following her dismissal.

She sought unpaid royalties and damages that she estimated exceeded $1 million and asked for a permanent injunction preventing the producers from mounting or licensing the musical beyond Broadway without her consent.

The producers countersued, saying her claims were baseless.

The settlement averts a trial, which had been set to begin on May 27.   Continued...

Director Julie Taymor poses at the premiere of her film "The Tempest" in Hollywood December 6, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Prouser