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A little more than two years after Julie Taymor was fired from her job as director of the blockbuster Broadway production Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, she has finally settled her suit with the show’s producers.
Taymor and 8 Legged Productions have not released the terms of the settlement that resolved her claims against the company, but a statement released Wednesday indicated that the two sides finally had an agreement in place after several false alarms.
Taymor was fired as director due to artistic differences in March 2011 after blistering reviews from the first group of critics to weigh in on the show, which had begun previews in November 2010. The ousted director first pursued arbitration over $500,000 in claimed royalties. Then, in November of 2011, she alleged that as a co-owner of the book of the musical, she had a copyright claim to the show’s underlying material, which she said still reflected her significant contributions to the story.
In August, it seemed that the two sides had reached a deal, but they were unable to complete it, and the case was reopened this past December. They faced a trial in May, and so a deal this month helps them to narrowly avoid an open court battle. Believed to be at issue in settlement talks were the rights to reproduce the show in international territories. That aspect is reflected in comments from both parties on the settlement.
“We’re happy to put all this behind us,” said producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah Harris of 8 Legged Productions. “We are now looking forward to spreading Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark in new and exciting ways around the world”
“I’m pleased to have reached an agreement and hope for the continued success of Spider-Man, both on Broadway and beyond,” added Taymor.
The show, at $75 million the most expensive in Broadway history, has received poor reviews; it began with record-breaking business, but according to the New York Times, sales have flattened to just over $1 million a week, which, given its very costly technical arrangements, is barely enough to cover expenses.
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