Intellectual Property Law

Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Trapped in Litigious Web

A lawsuit involving creative contributions in the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, is back on, despite the August announcement by producers and director Julie Taymor that they’d reached a preliminary agreement.

The Southern District of New York action may go to trial in May, the Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood Esq. blog reports, if the parties can’t finalize the settlement. The site reports that the parties repeatedly asked the court for extensions since the preliminary agreement was announced. The show is reportedly the most expensive Broadway musical in history.

Taymor was let go as the production’s director in 2011, the blog reports. She later filed a lawsuit (PDF) against producer 8 Legged, alleging that she was entitled to money from the musical, because it continued to use her creative contributions after she left.

The producers filed a counter claim, arguing that Taymor, who directed the multiple Tony Award-winning musical The Lion King, did not live up to her obligations in the Spider-Man musical.

“If the litigation and active discovery immediately resume, the acceptability to all parties (and the insurer) of the agreed financial terms could be substantially impaired,” Charles Spada, Taymor’s lawyer, wrote in a December 2012 court filing. “In addition, we fear that the negative publicity that would be generated by a reinstatement of the litigation could jeopardize future settlement of the case.”

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