Producers of Broadway's Spider-Man musical postponed the show's official opening for a stunning sixth time, announcing Wednesday that it will not officially open until this summer and that it will bring in a new creative team.
Julie Taymor, who directed and co-wrote the book for Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark, will no longer helm the production but will be a part of the creative team, the producers said.
The delay revealed a production so trouble-plagued that it has taken itself out of the running for Tony Award consideration this year, but it will be eligible for the 2012 season. The $65-million show was scheduled to open on March 15.
"The team will be implementing a new plan to make significant and exciting revisions to the production," lead producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris said in a statement. "This amended schedule will allow the time necessary to execute the plan, which will include revisions to the script."
The show's representative, Rick Miramontez, said no performances will be cancelled during the overhaul.
Philip William McKinley and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa have joined the $65 million production to assist with new staging and rewrites.
Musical consultants Paul Bogaev and sound designer Peter Hylenski are also on the new team.
Bogaev, who won a Tony nomination in 2004 for his work on Bombay Dreams, has a history of working with rock musicians who are crafting musicals, including Tarzan with Phil Collins and Aida with Elton John. Hylenski worked on Elf, Shrek and Scottsboro Boys, among other shows.
"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," the producers said. "Julie's previous commitments mean that past March 15, she cannot work the 24/7 necessary to make the changes in the production in order to be ready for our opening."
New team has experience in theatre, television and comics
Taymor's directing duties will be handled by McKinley, who directed The Boy From Oz (2003) and The Night of the Hunter (2006). Aguirre-Sacasa worked on HBO's Big Love and has written for Marvel comics, and wrote the play The Picture of Dorian Gray, based on the Oscar Wilde novel.
The stunt-heavy show was co-written by Taymor, director of the hugely successful Lion King, and Glen Berger, and has music by U2's Bono and The Edge.
"This is an epic ride, and the standing ovations we have seen from the preview audiences have confirmed our absolute faith in the project," Bono and The Edge said in a statement. "We are listening and learning and, as a result, we have a couple of new songs we are very very excited about putting into the mix."
The highly unusual move to again delay the show came as Spider-Man continues to defy the reviews and post impressive numbers at the box office. It was the second highest-grossing show on Broadway this week, after Wicked, pulling in close to $1.3 million — though it was slightly down from the week before.