The rollicking ride that is Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark's backstage drama just doesn't stop. As expected the producers of the most expensive show in Broadway history sent out a press release last night confirming not only that the March 15 opening won't be happening (instead the show, which has already had more than 100 previews, will open on "an evening in early summer, 2011.") and that the show will be taking a few weeks off in the Spring but also that director/co-writer/mask designer Julie Taymor has essentially been kicked out of the Foxwoods Theater.
Philip William McKinley and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa will be stepping in to help with the directing and writing duties. McKinley previously directed The Boy From Oz and Aguirre-Sacasa last worked on a Dallas revival of the Superman musical It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman.
The producers of the show swear that Taymor isn't leaving though. They swear! It's just that "the additional time commitment required by this new plan will make it impossible for director and co-book writer Julie Taymor to continue on in her day-to-day duties with the production." But seriously, “Julie Taymor is not leaving the creative team. Her vision has been at the heart of this production since its inception and will continue to be so."
So why is Taymor getting the boot now? The Times speculates that a lot of the issues have come from the critical lambasting the show received and Taymor's unwillingness to make the changes that producers, and most importantly (apparently) Bono, wanted made. Especially in the bizarre second act (spoiler alert: it is all a dream!). Apparently she also refused to meet with some advisors the producers lined up.
The Daily News on the other hand hears that the problems with Taymor really became an issue when she "doomed herself by trying to unravel the musical web that Irish rocker Bono weaved for the show." Basically Bono stopped backing Taymor when she brought the Starlight Express guy on to help fix the music. Or, in other words, "If Bono had wanted Taymor to stay, she'd still be here."
According to producers Bono and the Edge will be adding a few new songs to go with the new book and the new director.
Anyway, we still think that, after they reportedly approached Aaron Sorkin, the producers should have tried to get Tony Kushner to give the book a shot—now there is a man comfortable with changing shows on the fly. And in case you were wondering, the Spider-spoofs are still set to run next week.