"Spider-Man" Broadway producers, trade group solve dispute

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 16, 2012 1:28 PM
"Spider-Man" Broadway producers, trade group solve dispute

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The producers of Broadway's "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" and a trade association representing the show's former director, Julie Taymor, have settled their legal disputes over her firing and withdrawn breach of contract claims, the groups said on Thursday.

Under the agreement, Taymor will receive full royalty fees for her services as a director through the show's duration, as well as some fees toward her work as a collaborator.

Producers at 8 Legged Productions LLC and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, which represents Broadway directors and other professionals, also agreed that Taymor's services as a collaborator on the project were completed and she has no further involvement in the show.

"The litigation between us is over, and we are hopeful that any remaining issues between the producer and Ms. Taymor regarding her role as author can also be resolved to the satisfaction of all," said Karen Azenberg, president of the SDC, in a statement on Thursday.

Tony-winning "The Lion King" director Taymor worked on the original book for the "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" musical, before being fired from the production in March 2011.

She filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the "Spider-Man" producers last year, saying they made "unauthorized and unlawful use" of her written works.

Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris, producers of the show, filed a counter-suit against Taymor last month, accusing her of jeopardizing the production of the show by "developing a dark, disjointed and hallucinogenic musical."

"Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" had a rocky start with cast injuries and opening night delays, but since then has been steadily packing in audiences on Broadway, making a record-setting $2.9 million from Christmas to New Year's Day, according to figures from industry website The Broadway League.

Based on one of Marvel Comic's most famous heroes, the Broadway production cost more than $70 million to bring to the stage with music by Bono and The Edge, and was reworked after Taymor was fired.

(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)