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Julie Taymor Replaced As Director of 'Spider-Man'

Bono and the Edge to become more central to the show's creative direction

March 10, 2011 9:45 AM ET
Julie Taymor Replaced As Director of 'Spider-Man'
Jim Spellman/WireImage

Update: A rep for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark says that Julie Taymor will remain billed as director and co-book writer of the show, but will no longer be a regular presence at the theater.

As expected, Julie Taymor has been replaced as the director of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, but will remain a part of the troubled musical's creative team. The producers have selected Broadway veteran Phil McKinley, director of the Tony-winning play The Boy From Oz, as Taymor's successor.

Sources close to the production say that Taymor's refusal to take criticism of the show seriously had alienated her from the producers, who have insisted that she make changes and work with outside collaborators.

Photos: U2 on the Cover of 'Rolling Stone'

According to the Daily, Taymor ignored changes suggested by Bono, the co-writer of the musical's songs. Without Taymor in a central position, Bono and the Edge are said to be the new driving creative force behind the project, and are likely to push Spider-Man toward the style of a more conventional Broadway musical.

Photos: Three Decades of U2, Onstage and Backstage

In addition to the arrival of McKinley as director, the producers have also brought on Paul Bogaev and Peter Helenski to rework the show's music and sound, respectively. The show no longer has an official opening date, though the producers have promised it to be sometime in early summer.

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal's sources say that Taymor and the show's producers have failed to finalize the terms of her departure, including matters involving copyright, royalties and her non-disclosure agreement. This could lead to litigation down the line. 

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