Mon dieu, y’all! Did you hear the news today about Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the Spider-Man musical that was to be directed by Julie Taymor and has songs written by Bono and the Edge? It’s simply terrible:
NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Not an indefinite hiatus! Damn you, recession! You’re ruining EVERYTHING.
The New York Post has the details:
Last week, production crews at both the Hilton Theatre and the scene shop where the show was being built were put on “hiatus” because the producers ran out of money. Assistants in the scene shop “ran to the bank to cash their checks because they weren’t sure they’d clear,” a source says.
Now comes word that the actors have been released from their contracts, with no incentive (i.e., money) to hang around waiting for the production to get back on track.
While I’m rather certain Shmarker will be deeply disappointed by this news, I personally can’t say that I’m that sad. Or even surprised.
I guess I’m bummed about this because it means that it’ll likely be ages before we ever see the Spider-Man musical, and that’s suggesting that there’s still a chance it’ll at some point make its debut; and as a rabid U2 fan I am very curious to hear Bono and the Edge take a stab at musical theater, but I frankly kinda don’t care.
The fact of the matter is that you can’t be shocked by this news when the budget is something as completely insane as $45 million dollars. The Post piece mentions that this would take five years of sold-out shows to recoup the costs. I’m no Suze Orman, but I’m quite sure that, financially speaking, that’s a bad idea.
Added to that, I’m rather confused that the producers have run out of money given that Marvel Comics and half of U2 are involved. If you believe in your work so much, why not pony it up and see if it’s a success? Marvel is responsible for the cinematic-dreck-that’s-still-sadly-box-office-gold that is X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, so it’s not as though they’re particularly hurting. And U2 just launched an epic tour at the beginning of this summer that I’m quite sure is doing bank. $45 millon may be $45 million, but I’m pretty certain they could self-finance the Spider-Man musical if they really were determined to make it happen.
That said, I think this hiatus is the perfect opportunity for Passengers (the U2+Brian Eno concept band of the mid-’90s) to reform and record an album called Turn Off the Dark. The songs are all there, and all we need are Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. (as well as Brian Eno) to flesh things out into something spectacular. Seriously, it could be the second coming of Zooropa. If nothing else, it’s Original Soundtracks 2. I know I want it.
Seriously. Chorus Lines on the Horizon. It could happen, so let’s make it happen.
And much love to Brynn for sending me the story.