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Julie Taymor and Spider-Man musical producers settle royalties feud

Julie Taymor

The producers of the $75 million Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have to pay $9,750 a week in royalties to ousted director Julie Taymor as part of a settlement with her union.

The New York Times reports that the agreement announced today with the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society affect the lawsuits filed against each other by Taymor and the producers, but instead settles an earlier grievance pressed by the union concerning Taymor’s contract rights as director. The dueling federal suits address her role as a creator and writer of the once-troubled show.

Taymor was fired in March from the much-delayed and -derided production following her resistance to making any major changes in the wake of a series of blistering reviews. (The producers contend she refused to create an original, family-friendly musical based on Marvel’s Spider-Man and instead “insisted on developing a dark, disjointed and hallucinogenic musical involving suicide, sex and death.”) A new creative team was brought in to overhaul Spider-Manmany of Taymor’s signature elements were stripped in the process — transforming it into one of the most successful, if also most expensive, shows on Broadway. It regularly grosses more than $1.3 million a week.

According to The Times, producers had hoped to only pay Taymor royalties only through her firing nearly a year ago instead of, potentially, for years to come. They also agreed to pay her an undisclosed sum for subsequent productions or tours outside of New York. Taymor, meanwhile agreed to defer her royalty payments for collaborator — they amount to about $4,000 a week — until Spider-Man‘s backers recoup their $75 million investment, which will take several years.

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Comments

14 Comments

It must be great getting paid royalties for something you almost singlehandedly made crash and burn….!

nice that she is profiting in the end from the train wreck she tried to turn spider mans broadway debute. and no doubt all parties are happy to be done with this chapter of turn off the dark. and hpefully next time marvel wants to put one of their characters on broadway they know not to call her.

Um, yeah, I got nothing on this one. This is beyond absurd. She better hope it runs forever, because any other production would have to be insane to hire her after pulling this stunt.

She now makes more in a month than I do in a year, for fucking up and losing her job.

But it still utilises a lot of her own ideas. I think she has a strong enough case – although I’m not sure it’s worth as much as she’s being given. I can’t imagine Steve Ditko, who arguably contributed a lot more towards this production, is seeing those levels of royalties somehow.

You know who I really dislike?

Whoah, it’s like the guaranteed contract in 1990s Pro Wrestling. Stay home, do nothing, pick up a paycheck.

Brian from Canada

February 16, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Keep in mind the union is involved here as well. Taymor was responsible for organizing the original story, music and talent, not to mention creating the hype for the product that was eventually modified for what it is today. According to union rules, she is entitled to a royalty because her involvement is clear.

It could have been worse: ever seen a pay or play clause in a Hollywood contract?

Casey from California

February 16, 2012 at 10:02 pm

In one month, she makes 17000 more than I do in a whole year….. because she got fired for doing her job terribly. I’m not sure if I’m horribly depressed or brimming with rage about that fact.

There is power in a union.

$10K a week to make a play that does not open!

Where do I sign up?

“Keep in mind the union is involved here as well. Taymor was responsible for organizing the original story, music and talent, not to mention creating the hype for the product that was eventually modified for what it is today. According to union rules, she is entitled to a royalty because her involvement is clear.”

Another reason why Unions should be abolished.

“Let’s still pay someone for not working (U.S. Auto industry) or totally screwing up their job (this case)!” :-O

Ironic, given that the revamped version that ditched her stupid ideas, is only about a 100 times better, and more true to the comic. (Sigh!) Stupidity abounds..

It’s like all these people in the banks and their bonuses – they contribute to the economy crashing and then get rewarded for it. But no one in this economy right now – and otherwise – should be making ten thousand bucks a week, let alone for doing fuck all, either by royalties or work. Look at the crappy wages cops, doctors, nurses, the military and so on are living on, and this asshole is getting 40 grand a month? More than a lot of people make in a year? Fuck that.

That, and doesn’t she have one of those faces you just want to slap really hard?

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