Scenes from the next Spider-Man movie? Nope, scenes from the first Spider-Man musical, slated to open February 2010 on Broadway, though the Los Angeles Times' John Horn reports it is scrambling to find more money to cover its projected $52-million budget.
Confirmed stars for now: Evan Rachel Wood, who will play Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker's squeeze; and Alan Cumming, set to become the Green Goblin. Spider-Man? No announcement yet. (Jonathan Groff! Jonathan Groff!)
The musical is being directed by Julie Taymor, who also co-wrote the script with playwright Glen Berger. Taymor broke theatrical ground with the expensive but critically and commercially triumphant The Lion King. And the songwriters are Bono and the Edge of U2.
“Sony's three Peter Parker movies have grossed nearly $2.5 billion worldwide, musical songwriters Bono and the Edge have shipped more than 50 million U2 records domestically, and director Julie Taymor's 'The Lion King' has earned $3.6 billion globally,” notes Horn.
But the production's grandiose pronouncement to “reinvent Broadway” has only led to hurdles big and small, from budget snags to technical and logistical difficulties (all those flying sequences!) to the death of a principal early on.
As for the music: Bono describes it as “Giant, big pop songs to noisy rock 'n' roll to ethereal shivers.” And the rock icon isn't perturbed by the musical's stumbling pace to opening night: “Who cares? The visuals and the music are amazing, and that's what will matter.”
But will it make it to opening night? Around $24 million more is reportedly needed. And if Spider-Man fails to swing from the heights of the Hilton Theatre on time, “not only will [it] miss Tony Award eligibility but also face the expiration of the musical's license from Marvel Entertainment.”
52 million dollars? This better be one hell of a musical.