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'Spider-Man' producers countersue ex-director Julie Taymor



Producers for Broadway's "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" are fighting back against ousted director Julie Taymor, alleging in a countersuit filed Tuesday that she was almost impossible to work with and nearly caused the show to collapse.

The producers allege that Taymor refused "to fulfill her contractual obligations ... thereby causing significant unnecessary expense, delay and other harm" to the $75 million show, and that she isn't owed any of the damages she sued for last November.

Taymor "refused to develop a musical" that was "family-friendly" and "insisted on developing a dark, disjointed and hallucinogenic musical involving suicide, sex and death" that didn't star Spider-Man, the suit said.

"Taymor refused to listen to or collaborate with" with other producers, and she "stormed out of meetings if changes were even hinted at and stopped talking to any member of the production who suggested that changes should be made," the suit claims.

Taymor, who won two Tony awards for "The Lion King," wasthe primary visionary behind "Spider-man", directing and co-writing the original version.

Her attorneys said the countersuit is "baseless," and that "Taymor will continue to vigorously seek enforcement of her creative rights and will respond to the defendants' counter-claims."

After years of delays, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" opened in previews in November 2010, but faced many more months of delays, injuries and awful reviews.

Desperate for change, the show's producers replaced Taymor with Philip William McKinley in March and officially launched the show in June.

Taymor sued the show in November for at least $1 million for copyright infringement, saying the re-launched show still used some of her work.

Reps for the show didn't respond to requests for comment.

The show, the most expensive in Broadway's history, recently broke the single-week record for sales, raking in $2.9 million.

(with Marc Beja)

Follow reporters Tim Herrera and Marc Beja on Twitter: @tim_herrera and @Marc_Beja.

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