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‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ is getting its own tell-all book

spiderman musical

The $75 million musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has been lampooned by Sesame Street and Conan O’Brien, dramatized by Law & Order: Criminal Intent, scrutinized by the press and ridiculed by comics fans. And now the most expensive production in Broadway history is the subject of a tell-all book.

The New York Times reports that Glen Berger, who collaborated on the show’s original script with former director Julie Taymor, has written Song of Spider-Man, which purports to document all of the betrayals and pettiness surrounding her firing in March 2011 and the sweeping overhaul of the production that followed. The newspaper obtained galleys of the book ahead of its Nov. 5 release from Simon & Schuster.

While much of the “behind-the-scenes” drama played out in the media, and in dueling lawsuits between the one-time director and the Spider-Man producers, the book apparently contains some revelations, including that Berger and Taymor worried the musical’s story was “ridiculous” even while they were writing it. Berger also contends that producer Michael Cohl withdrew Taymor’s tickets for the June 2011 opening night just hours before the show, leading the musical supervisor to provide her with one.

Even more interesting, at least to comics fans, is that Marvel executives allegedly voiced concerns over the years that Taymor’s vision “would damage their lucrative superhero brand.” The company had rejected an initial 20-page script treatment as “entirely wrong” and “quite dark,” and pushed for Taymor’s original creation Arachne to be cut. Ultimately, following Taymor’s departure, the tone of the show was lightened significantly, and the role of Arachne — Taymor’s signature creation — was diminished significantly.
Neither Taymor nor the producers of Spider-Man have read the book, and wouldn’t comment on its contents.

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6 Comments

“Marvel executives allegedly voices concerns over the years that Taymor’s vision “would damage their lucrative superhero brand.” But somehow Superior Spider-Man, doesn’t?

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again–this musical SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN MADE.

This was one of the stupidest ideas anyone could think of! Superheroes in a broadway musical? There is no way that is going to come out well, superheroes just aren’t made for something like that.

yup if I never hear anything about this musical again ever it will be too soon.

Saw the show and hated it, but I LOVE the soundtrack. Which is weird because when you listen to it, it so disconnected from the show and it’s not even in proper order which tells you all you need to know about this mess. With that said, I’d kind of like to see it again, now that I like the music so much.

We thought it was a fantastic show. Music great, acting was fab and glad they took out the Arachnia part all together. It should go to Vegas!!!

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