It’s Wednesday, so new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? While you ponder that, here’s the news you might have missed.
Around the Blogs:
The Mary Sue – Introducing DC Comics License Plates (Yah!), Available Only In Australia (Boo!) – Who do I need to lobby to make this happen in Virginia?
Comics Alliance – Cartoonist Susie Cagle on Her Tear Gassing and Arrest While Covering Occupy Oakland [Interview] – Interesting stuff.
Bleeding Cool – Read Julie Taymor’s Lawsuit Against The Spider-Man Producers In Full – I could make jokes, but I spent most the year making fun of the musical itself.
GamePolitics – DCUO Continues Massive Growth as F2P Game – Maybe I’ll finally play? But, congrats!
Today is Father’s Day, congrats to all the days out there! Also, if you’re in the Washington, DC area today is the DC Comicon at the GMU campus. While you were pondering what to get your dad, here’s the news you might have missed.
Around the Blogs:
The Beat – THE LEGAL VIEW: Super-style and the DCU Relaunch – We’ll soon find out the changes, and it’ll be interesting to see what we can attribute to the ongoing legal proceedings.
ArtsBeat – Taymor Calls New ‘Spider-Man’ Much Simpler – No one said she couldn’t comment as part of her departure?
CapeTown Community – What Consumers Should Know from the DC Retailer Roadshow – DC comics took to the road to talk to retailers about the upcoming reboot/relaunch.
Around the Tubes Reviews:
Seattle Pi – Modesty Blaise: The Double Agent
This past Thursday the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society filed an arbitration claim on behalf of Julie Taymor, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark‘s original director. The claim is over the failure to pay royalties to the director. In a statement the union said to producers:
…failed to pay to Ms. Taymor any royalties for the run of the production” in violation of her contract and the union’s collective bargaining agreement. Laura Penn, the society’s executive director, said in the statement that Ms. Taymor “has given nine years of her life to this project” and its producers had “absolutely no right, legally and ethically, to withhold royalties that are due to her.” Ms. Penn added, “In fact, the right to use her work, on Broadway or anywhere else, is dependent upon the payment of royalties.
The union represents theater directors. The union says that according to it’s collective bargaining agreement, directors are supposed to receive royalties with a show’s first paid public performance, which occurred in November for the Broadway musical.
We’ve been taking some weeks off from beating on the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, but it’s been a pretty tumultuous time. It just hit their blog a new creative team has been announced for the struggling musical as well as further delays.
Just posted on their blog:
Lead producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris announced today that SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark has a newly expanded creative team in place. The team will be implementing a new plan to make significant and exciting revisions to the production. Opening night (previously set for March 15, 2011) has been rescheduled to an evening in early summer, 2011. This amended schedule will allow the time necessary to execute the plan, which will include revisions to the script.
The additional time commitment required by this new plan will make it impossible for director and co-book writer Julie Taymor to continue on in her day-to-day duties with the production. Philip William McKinley and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa have joined the creative team to help implement new staging and book rewrites, respectively. McKinley has vast experience directing technically complex productions on Broadway and beyond. Aguirre-Sacasa is both an acclaimed playwright and a noted writer of Spider-Man comic books. The expanded creative team also includes musical consultant Paul Bogaev (Tarzan, Bombay Dreams, Aida, Sunset Boulevard) and sound designer Peter Hylenski (Elf, Scottsboro Boys, Rock of Ages, Shrek), both of whom have already been working on improving the musical arrangements and sound quality (respectively) over the past few weeks, thereby vastly enhancing the audience experience.
Producers Cohl and Harris said, in a joint statement, “Julie Taymor is not leaving the creative team. Her vision has been at the heart of this production since its inception and will continue to be so. Julie’s previous commitments mean that past March 15th, she cannot work the 24/7 necessary to make the changes in the production in order to be ready for our opening. We cannot exaggerate how technically difficult it is to make such changes to a show of this complexity, so it’s with great pride that we announce that Phil McKinley is joining the creative team. Phil is hugely experienced with productions of this scale and is exactly what SPIDER-MAN Turn off the Dark needs right now.”
Bono and The Edge added, “Julie is a truly gifted and imaginative director. This is an epic ride, and the standing ovations we have seen from the preview audiences have confirmed our absolute faith in the project. We are listening and learning and, as a result, we have a couple of new songs we are very very excited about putting into the mix. All of us on the creative team are committed to taking SPIDER-MAN to the next level. We are confident it will reach its full potential and when it does, it will open.”
Anyone want to start a pool to see if upcoming Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark actually opens in 2011? The New York Times Artbeat is reporting that the musical is opening sometime in February instead of it’s previous January 11. The article states:
…the delay is intended to provide more time for the creators to stage a new final number, make further rewrites to the dialogue and consider adding and cutting scenes and perhaps inserting new music from the composers, U2’s Bono and the Edge, who will resume working full-time on the show in late December.
This is the fourth delay as the musical originally was supposed to open in January 2010. The preview performances have taken a beating online by those who’ve seen it. Many of the preview performances had to be stopped due to technical issues with the musical’s elaborate effects. The musical has also been plagued by injuries.
The musical has cost an estimated $65 million and would need to run for four years before recouping it’s cost. The first step in that would be to actually open.
When you dump $60 million into a Broadway musical, you might want to get word out about it. The 30-second ads for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark feature rehearsal footage that the production has been taping for weeks. The ad includes images of some of the show’s flying sequences and its set and costume designs. The two ads will be broadcast on cable and network television in the New York area starting on Monday.
Preview performances begin Sunday night, and director Julie Taymor has said that she expects to continue working on the show after preview performances begin and that the musical may need to stop now and then mid-performance to make technical fixes. This is glossed over in the ads.
The most expensive musical in history features music by U2’s Bono and The Edge.
The upcoming Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has teamed up with the SyFy television channel to be the musical’s lead media partner for television and Internet commercials, promotions and contests. What’s fascinating is SyFy is part NBC Universal. Marvel (the comic book company behind Spider-Man) is owned by Disney which owns ABC.
The SyFy channel draws younger men, part of the target audience for this musical. The channel will begin running commercials for the musical closer to its scheduled first performance on Nov. 28, as well as on-air promotions, teasers and contests.
The SyFy channel is in an estimated 95 million homes and it’s prime time shows reach 2 million people a night. The $60 million musical is being director by Julie Taymor with music by Bono and The Edge of U2.
The musical has been plagued by delays, budget overruns and injuries due to stunts.
Is the opening for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark in trouble? Already the most expensive production in history, the $60 million Broadway show will see it’s opening delayed for two weeks. Theater executives familiar with the show have said “more work is needed on it.” If you read the New York Times Artbeat a picture of a chaotic production is painted:
These executives, as well as people working on or plugged into the production, described a tremendous amount of creative commotion behind the scenes in interviews this week. Flying sequences were still being developed and the music, special effects, and scenes of plot and dialogue were still largely in separate pieces even though performances were originally set to begin on Nov. 14.
The Artbeat article says director Julie Taymor “spent chunks of the 11-week rehearsal period experimenting over and over with the flying stunts and other special effects rather than preoccupying herself with deadlines.”
The musical boasts music from U2’s Bono and the Edge and advance ticket sales so far total about $8 million in hard cash with an additional $2 million to $3 million in unpaid group orders. That’s great for the average $10 million show, but not so good for a musical with a budget of a major motion picture.
On Wednesday the production was unable to present all of the stunts to the safety inspector. They must be signed off on before production begins. An investigation has begun over recent accidents that have caused performers to be hurt attempting some of the stunts.
The production was originally to launch in 2009 but was delayed due to funding. At that time the musical was to cost $40 million.
Bets as to whether this will go down as the biggest disaster in Broadway history?
Music from U2? How bad can the upcoming Broadway muscial Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark be?
First up are photos of the Green Goblin and a new villain called Swiss Miss (wtf!?).
Next up are the videos:
The music isn’t too bad, but what is up with those two costumes!? Please say it’s just a bad angle.
Preview performances begin November 14 with the official debut in December. It’s being directed by Julie Taymor.