"Spider-Man" Broadway producers sue director Taymor
By Alex Dobuzinskis
(Reuters) - The producers of Broadway's version of "Spider-Man" filed a countersuit against the musical's ousted director Julie Taymor on Tuesday, accusing her of jeopardizing the production by not caring about ticket sales.
The 66-page filing submitted in federal court in New York by producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris, accuses Taymor of "developing a dark, disjointed and hallucinogenic musical," and it comes in response to Taylor's lawsuit against them which she filed in November.
After a disastrous start that saw injuries to actors and opening night delays, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" has been packing in audiences on Broadway. It made a record-setting $2.9 million from Christmas to New Year's Day, according to figures from industry website The Broadway League.
The stunt-heavy musical based on Marvel Comics' most famous character, which cost over $70 million to bring to the stage with music by Bono and The Edge, was reworked after Taymor was fired from the production in March 2011.
Taymor, the Tony-winning director of "The Lion King," worked on the musical's original book -- the non-sung words -- before she left the show.
Her copyright infringement lawsuit filed against the "Spider-Man" producers last year argued that, after the show was revamped, the producers continued to make "unauthorized and unlawful use" of her written works.
But attorneys for the producers, in their countersuit filed on Tuesday, stated that Taymor breached her duties to co-write and collaborate on the musical.
"Taymore refused to develop a musical that followed the original, family-friendly 'Spider-Man' story, which was depicted in the Marvel comic books and the hugely successful motion picture trilogy based on them," the lawsuit stated. Continued...