The Broadway production of ‘Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark’ has been a rollercoaster ride of troubles, accidents, successes, and lawsuits. First the production was plagued with accidents and bad reviews. Then it underwent a retooling, which included a change of directors. Just when the production started to turn around the the box office dollars started to roll in, the ex-director, Julie Taymor, sued 8 Legged Productions (the production company behind ‘Turn off the Dark’). Then the producers fired right back by counter-suing Taymor.
Well today, it seems as if the woes are finally over. Deadline announced that Taymor and the ‘Turn off the Dark’ producers have settled out of court. The deal between Taymor and 8 Legged Productions will give Taymor full royalties on the production, including back-payments. She will be given royalties “from the inception of the run through its duration pursuant to the terms of her Director’s agreement, and to pay certain other amounts due to Ms. Taymor as a Collaborator, when the show’s New York production recoups”.
Of course, the reasoning behind the settlement is that the litigation was keeping the producers from taking the production to other cities, thus cutting off a crucial source of income. So, in the end, it is more profitable to just pay Taymor the royalties than to keep losing money on a show that cost $75 million to make and $1.2 million each and every week just to keep it going.
The other stipulation with the settlement is that Taymor officially has nothing else to do with the production of ‘Turn off the Dark’.
Update (2/17/2012): I’m not sure what’s going on but less than 36 hours after the reported end to litigation, Deadline has reported that a Manhattan judge has set a date for a hearing on Taymor’s royalties case. The lawsuit, which is set for a hearing of January 7, 2013, says that Taymor claims she is owed $3000 a month from the opening of ‘Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark’ thru the present. Of course, since 8 Legged Productions still has plans to take the Spider-show on the road, it is expected that they will settle this one out of court as well long before that date.