Spidey Turns Off One Suit

At least part of the ongoing dispute between producers of U2-scored and Michael Cohl-produced Broadway production “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark” has been put to rest with a settlement agreement between the musical’s co-author and director Julie Taymor and the show’s producers.

The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and producers 8 Legged Productions LLC announced the settlement Feb. 16 without disclosing specific details.

Under the deal, Taymor will be paid full royalties as director from the beginning of previews in November 2010 through the end of the Broadway run. She was fired almost one year ago after years of delays, accidents, critical pans and ballooning costs produced a record-setting $75 million price tag.

“The litigation between us is over, and we are hopeful that any remaining issues between the producer and Ms. Taymor regarding her role as author can also be resolved to the satisfaction of all,” SDCS President Karen Azenberg said.

Still on the table is a federal copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Taymor against producers over her authorship and a countersuit brought by 8 Legged Productions.

In that still-ongoing legal dispute, Taymor seeks half the profits derived from the sale or license of any rights in the original “Spider-Man” book. She also seeks a jury trial to determine her share of profits from the unauthorized use of her version of the tale, which the lawsuit said was believed to be in excess of $1 million.

The producers, for their part, claim she “caused numerous delays, drove up costs, and failed to direct a musical about Spider-Man that could open on Broadway.” Her version of the story, they assert, bears little resemblance to the show that is currently playing at the Foxwoods Theatre.

The producers agreed to drop breach of contract and other claims and to pay Taymor an unspecified amount of money if the show’s New York production recoups its investment, and the two sides agreed to a compensation package for Taymor if any subsequent productions of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” are staged.

“We are very happy to have reached an amicable compromise with the SDCS that will allow us all to move on,” producers Cohl and Jeremiah Harris of 8 Legged Productions said.

The stunt-heavy show has been doing brisk business since opening, and most weeks easily grosses more than the $1.2 million its producers have indicated they need to reach to stay viable. Over the Christmas holiday, the show earned the highest single-week gross of any show in Broadway history.