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Julie Taymor sues Broadway's 'Spider-Man' for $1 million

"Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark" at the Foxwoods

"Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark" at the Foxwoods Theater. (RJ Mickelson/amNY) Credit: "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark" at the Foxwoods Theater. (RJ Mickelson/amNY)

Spider-Man's new nemesis is a million-dollar lawsuit.

Julie Taymor, the booted director of "Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark," sued the show's producers Tuesday for at least $1 million plus royalties for using her work after she was fired, the suit alleges.

The producers "have continued to promote, use, change and revise Taymor's work ... without her approval or authorization and in violation of their agreements with Taymor," according to the lawsuit, filed yesterday in New York federal court.

Taymor's attorney, Charles Spada, said the suit was filed as a last resort "to protect her rights."

"The producers have failed to compensate Ms. Taymor for their continued use of her work to date, despite the fact that the show has consistently played to capacity or near-capacity houses," Spada told, which first reported the lawsuit.

The show has faced an onslaught of troubles since it went into previews in November 2010, including repeated, highly publicized actor injuries, a tsunami of negative reviews and delay after delay.

Still, it has managed to fill seats, raking in around $1 million per week, but because of extremely high production costs, money reportedly remains very tight.

The suit was filed just a week after the Tony Awards ruled that only Taymor would be eligible for the award in the best direction of a musical category.

Taymor co-wrote the book for "Spider-Man" and is largely seen as the driving force behind the original show, which at $75 million is Broadway's most expensive ever. She was replaced in March with Philip William McKinley, who revamped the show.

In June, she filed for arbitration through the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, arguing the show owed her at least $300,000 in royalties. The case is ongoing.

"You can understand how someone who's a high-profile talent would believe it’s unfair if her work were used without her continuing attachment to project,” said New York entertainment lawyer John J. Tormey III.

He added: "However, it is possible that that some of [Taymor's] motivation is not economic."

The show didn't immediately have comment. 


It's been nearly 10 years since Broadway's "Spider-Man" was first announced. Here are some of the high- and low-lights.

2002: Show is first announced by Marvel

November 2010: The show opens in previews with a January 2011 opening night scheduled

December 2010: Actor Christopher Tierney severely injured during a preview

March 2010: Julie Taymor booted

April 2010: The show goes on hiatus for three months

June 2010: Opening night

Follow reporter Tim Herrera on Twitter: @tim_herrera

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