Producers of Broadway's Spider-Man File Countersuit Against Julie Taymor
As previously reported, Taymor filed a lawsuit against the show's producers on November 8, 2011, claiming that they violated her rights as one of the musical's authors and that they failed to compensate her for the continued use of her work. The suit also seeks to bar the producers from bringing the musical to non-Broadway venues.
In the countersuit, the producers claim, "Taymor -- after refusing to perform her contractual obligations necessitating the hiring of a new writer to do the work she would not and could not do -- is now attempting to further injure the Musical's investors and its cast and crew by seeking to enjoin future productions, even though she has long been aware that other venues for the Musical had been contemplated. If successful, Taymor will stop hundreds of performers and technicians from getting jobs working on the Musical and will prevent new audience members from seeing the show."
In addition, the producers have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Inc., LOH, Inc. and Julie Taymor in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The SDC has been representing Taymor in her attempts to receive full royalties as director and collaborator with respect to her work on Spider-Man. The antitrust lawsuit claims that she and the SDC "conspired and agreed, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act . . . to fix minimum royalty rates, health and pension benefits, and other non-bargained for compensation for Taymor's services as Spider-Man's director, collaborator and mask designer at supracompetitive levels."
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is inspired by over 40 years of Marvel comic books. It follows the story of teenager Peter Parker, whose unremarkable life is turned upside-down when he's bitten by a genetically altered spider and must learn that with great powers comes great responsibility.
After a much-publicized preview period, Taymor was sidelined from the musical with Philip William McKinley being brought on board to implement new staging prior to the show's official press opening. In the program, she is credited with "original direction," as well as a co-book writer and mask designer. As previously reported, the Tony Awards Administration Committee recently determined that Taymor will be eligible for a Tony Award in the category of Best Direction of a Musical for her work in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.