By Zachary Swickey
As if the new U2-scored musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” hasn’t had enough troubles already, original director Julie Taymor has announced she is suing the producers of the show for unpaid royalties.
The New York Times reports that Taymor is seeking $1 million in damages with the claim that her creative rights have been violated by the producers, and she hasn’t been paid appropriately for all the hard work she put in. The production has already been widely reported as the most expensive musical of all time (supposedly $75 million expensive) – adding another million should definitely secure it that honor. The ex-director will also be seeking half of all profits from the original run of the show and a permanent ban on her name or likeness being featured in a filmed documentary made about the catastrophic early days of the musical.
Taymor, who directed “The Lion King” on Broadway and worked on Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” tour, famously “left” the production in March after the show got savaged by critics. The musical had been plagued with stage accidents, poorly received previews and multiple casting replacements that caused numerous delays and millions of dollars in lost revenue. The frequency of accidents even became a running gag on Conan O’Brien’s show. Taymor was relieved by William McKinley in April when the musical was put on an indefinite break, which allowed the new director to revamp the production for its return in June of this year.
Spokesman for the producers, Rick Miramontez, responded to the suit in a statement yesterday evening, saying, “Since Ms. Taymor’s departure in March, we have repeatedly tried to resolve these issues. The production has indeed compensated Ms. Taymor for her contribution as a co-book writer. Fortunately the court system will provide, once and for all, an opportunity to resolve this dispute.”