Spider-Man legal battle nears conclusion

Judd Hollander

The long-running legal dispute between the producers of the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark and the show’s director Julie Taymor has been tentatively settled, it was announced on August 30.

After winding its way through the courts for almost a year, and with a trial date set for early 2013, the case, currently in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, was ordered terminated by Judge Katherine B. Forrest, with each side to pay its own legal costs.

However, any of the litigating parties has the option of reopening the matter with written notice to the court within the next 60 days. Specific terms of the settlement have not yet been disclosed.

Spider-Man had been plagued by numerous production problems since it opened, including cost overruns, injuries to performers, a continually extended preview period, and widespread criticism in the press. In response to these issues, the producers decided to make some major changes to the show, with the result being that Taymor and the production parted company.

Dismissed from the show in March 2011, Taymor filed her suit in November of that year, after months of settlement negotiations failed to achieve a satisfactory result. In her complaint, Taymor claimed she was not properly compensated for her work by the show’s producers. In response, the producers filed a counterclaim, stating Taymor breached her contract by failing to do the work on the show she was contracted to do. The reported settlement, should it stand, closes the book on both matters. A prior lawsuit brought against the producers by the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers on behalf of Taymor had been settled previously.

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark recently celebrated its 500th performance at Broadway’s Foxwoods Theatre where it continues to report strong ticket sales.

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