Someday, we predict, someone will write an opera about the Spider-Man musical, which will be all about immensely talented egos, wasted money and mythic archetypes; it will be the Nixon in China for those days.

Seriously, how could you have predicted the scene when fucking BONO would have to step out in front of a theatrical group and take the reins as creative leader, saying they had to move forward without the director he himself had chosen? In case you missed it, all the rumors were true: Director Julie Taymor is leaving the show, director Philip McKinley — who has experience with both circuses and Hugh Jackman, making him well suited for the job– is coming in; Bono and the Edge are writing some new tunes, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is stepping in to explain what a superhero does, and the show will take a break for a few weeks to try to fix itself.

To imagine that a few weeks can mend what four years have been taken to make is a little incredible, but hey, it’s all about the imagination.

As the Times story above notes, it’s a huge fall for Taymor, whose film FRIDA was nominated for SIX Oscars, winning two. Regular readers know I love her, so I won’t bore you, but…something had to give:

According to four of her colleagues, Ms. Taymor boxed herself into a corner with the producers in the last few weeks by rebuffing their requests to allow outsiders to make changes to the show. She would not meet with some of them, and she did not act on suggestions for improvements; at one feedback session with the cast, some actors argued for strengthening the central love story between Peter Parker and M. J. Watson, but Ms. Taymor insisted, “It’s there.” The Edge, Bono and the producers also expected that she would make far-reaching changes in the show’s critically panned Act II, but after attending recent performances, they concluded that she lacked the objectivity to ruthlessly reshape the show.

Or as writer Nate Cosby tweeted: Spider-Man: Turn Out The Director



  1. They need to just cancel the show already. Obviously Bono doesn’t mind bank rolling it, but after countless injuries and just a bad rap; they need to cut it loose

  2. I keep reading comments around the internet that they should cancel the show. Why on earth would they do that? The money is already spent, for the most part, and the show has been performing well despite the critical thrashing. There is no harm in pressing on for now, after all this time they might as well take a shot that the thing will at least make some of its money back.

    I am wondering if letting Taymor go won’t turn out to be a huge mistake. They might wind up turning a show that’s “so bad it’s a train wreck you have to see” into a show that’s just bad. I’m still hoping they can turn it around. I don’t blame Taymor for bailing though, obviously she had a strong vision for the show and compromising at this point, especially given the strong attendance at the previews, wouldn’t make much sense from her point of view.

  3. Fact of the matter is, “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark” is currently the second highest grossing show on Broadway after Wicked! They aren’t going to just shut it down when there’s money that can be recouped.

    It’s possible that they could make it worse, but with the personnel they have chosen, I doubt it. Almost everything I’ve read says the second act is problematic at best and total nonsense at worst. Everyone wants more Green Goblin as it seems that character is a better and more satisfying villain (go figure!). It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

  4. It would be cool and hilarious if they somehow got their shit together and transformed this into a “Lion King”- level success.

    Remember “Wicked” was originally considered a flop when it was in previews, and the movie “Titanic” had a full year of disastrous press and delays before it finally emerged as a smash.