The producers of Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have hit back at Julie Taymor, ratcheting up their dispute by filing a countersuit against the blockbuster musical's original director.
Tony-winner Taymor was ousted from the troubled, stunt-filled rock musical in March 2011, prior to a major overhaul of the show, which had been in previews since its debut in November 2010.
On its official opening night in June, Taymor and her former collaborators — including U2's Bono and The Edge, who wrote the show's music — smiled and posed for the cameras. However, in November she launched a lawsuit against the producers, alleging she had not been paid royalties for her contribution to Spider-Man and that the new incarnation infringes on her copyright.
Earlier in January, producers announced that the high-flying musical had set a new box office record for single-week gross by taking in $2.9 million US during the lucrative week between Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 (breaking the previous record set a year prior by Wicked).
On Tuesday, Spider-Man's producers — led by Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris — answered Taymor with a countersuit filed in U.S. District Court in New York.
In their suit, they claim that Taymor caused delays, refused to collaborate on changes, drove up costs and also refused "to fulfill her contractual obligations, declaring that she could not and would not do the jobs that she was contracted to do," despite clear indications that the massive show needed an overhaul.
After her departure, Spider-Man proceeded with a revamp thanks largely to the efforts of the cast as well as the new writer (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa) and director (Philip William McKinley) producers brought in.
"As a result of all of the changes that Taymor could not and would not make, the Spider-Man musical is now a hit. The show is a success despite Taymor, not because of her," they said in their filing.
Charles Spada, the attorney representing Taymor, blasted the countersuit as "baseless" on Tuesday.
Taymor "will continue to vigorously seek enforcement of her creative rights" amid producers' "outrageous mischaracterizations and attempts to besmirch her reputation," he said.