Julie Taymor’s Spider-Man (Part Three): Casting, Plot, Weirdness

1. As rumored previously, Taymor’s ideal choices for the leads (Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess) participated in a workshop of the production back in October. Assume their casting is unofficially a done deal.


2. Not sure how I missed this previously, but the casting sides are on-line. Spoilers and massive weirdness after the jump:

Director: Julie Taymor
Music and Lyrics: Bono and The Edge of U2
Musical Supervisor: Teese Gohl
Book: Julie Taymor and Glen Berger
Producer: Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Martin McCallum, Marvel Entertainment
Casting Director: Telsey + Company
Rehearsals: Begin 7/2/07 in NYC
Reading: 7/12/07 and 7/13/07

NEW YORK, NY 10036


[PETER PARKER] Male, late teens to early 20’s, Caucasian. A bullied, infatuated with Mary Jane Watson to the point of near-paralysis. Earnest, ethical, and frequently relying on his wry, self-effacing sense of humor to get out of scrapes, he was bitten by a genetically-altered spider in Norman Osborn’s Lab soon before graduating and becomes after trials and tragedy a crime-fighting superhero. He struggles daily to balance the responsibilities his dual identity demands, as well as with the constant temptation to exploit the powers he has inherited. The burden of being a superhero, his guilt for his role in his uncle’s death, as well as his debilitating crush on Mary Jane all weigh heavily upon him. Great pop/rock voice.

[MARY JANE] Female, late teens to early 20s, Caucasian. Sweet,intelligent, affectionate, compassionate, with a well-developed, wrysense of humor. Her power, her luminosity, arises from the unadornedsimplicity and groundedness of her presence. She is desperate to getout of Queens, to get away from her abusive father, and make a namefor herself as an actress. Great pop/rock voice.

[ARACHNE] Female, 20-35 years old, any ethnicity. A beautiful,boastful young woman turned into a spider for her hubris and lack of respect for the gods. She subsequently appears to Peter Parker and the audience as in turn a powerful spider-woman who comes from anothertime to inspire Peter; an otherworldly lover; a bride; a terrifying (and sexy) dark goddess of vengeance; a dance partner in a charged and violent spiders dance of death; and, finally, a lonely, fragile young woman. Possesses an ethereal, unique, gorgeous singing voice. Strong Celtic, Balkan style, e.g., Sinead O’Connor. Outside the box ideas are welcomed. Could be someone from the music industry. (NOTE: What the hell?!)

[NORMAN OSBORN] Male, 50s, Southern, A brilliant scientist deeply devoted to his wife Emily and to the potential of science to improve the world. Always thinking, always tinkering, always talking, he is a dynamo, a folksy whirlwind of energy cut from the same cloth as Ted Turner. An experiment gone wrong mutates him into an unholy terror called the Green Goblin contemptuous of humanity and very much insane. STRONG comic chops and strong character voice.

[J. JONAH JAMESON] Male, 50s. Brash, stubborn, and a throwback from another era, the mustachioed, cigar-chomping, tyrannical publisher ofthe Daily Bugle is always after the headline that will sell more papers. He is unrelenting in his hatred for Spider-Man, whom he seesas a vigilante and a bane to NYC. Need STRONG comic chops.

[GEEK CHORUS] Three teenage boys and one girl who meet toritualistically retell the greatest Spider-Man stories. They have encyclopedic knowledge of the last forty years of Spider-Man comic books. They are inveterate role-playing, over-enthusiastic, idealistic, air-guitar-wielding, argumentative, earnest, hyper-seriousgeeks. Strong comic chops and strong singing voices. Any ethnicity.”

11 thoughts on “Julie Taymor’s Spider-Man (Part Three): Casting, Plot, Weirdness

  1. Looks like Taymor’s degree in folklore and mythology is having a wee influence on this. I bet she’s taking the job because she is such a huge fan of the comic. She certainly appears to be. Bet it was her playing with Spiderman figures that gave her a passion for puppetry, and led her into theatre. Not anything at all with Across the Universe tanking.

  2. Bending the story to cater to her interests in understandable, but at a certain point it’s going to be so far removed from the source material that there’s going to be even less of a potential audience.

    Really…who do they actually expect to see this anyway? It’s too juvenile for theater buffs, too butch for females and feminine lads, too Broadway for comic book geeks and little boys…who’s left?

    I’m interested in the production design, music and train-wreck potential…that’s about it.

  3. Really…who do they actually expect to see this anyway? It’s too juvenile for theater buffs, too butch for females and feminine lads, too Broadway for comic book geeks and little boys…who’s left?

    Everyone else? Who would’ve thought that an artistic take on The Lion King would become such a hit.

  4. Anyhoo, I’m off skiing in the northern mountains of Sweden. Don’t know how good the internet access will be up there, so if you don’t hear from me for a while know that I’m busy practicing on my Robert Redford pose or dead in avalanche.

  5. You can’t compare something that was already a musical (and associated with the Disney name) and compare it to a male-skewing property like Spider-Man.

  6. Chicks love the Spiderman films just as much as guys do. My little sister was even more obsessed about Spiderman 3 than she was the Pirates sequels.

    Basically, if it doesn’t suck, people will come in droves. Name recognition is the key.

  7. You might be right. I guess the two big things that have going for them (U2 & Taymor) might off-set a lot of people’s reservations.

    Anyway, have a Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday! Be sure to stretch before attempting the Redford.

  8. Broadway has been successful in branching out to demographics that don’t usually go to Broadway plays–specifically straight men, with Spamalot. If a comic book geek (most of whom are straight men) is going to go to a Broadway show, it would be this one, and comic book geeks seem to have a lot of time and disposable income.

  9. Agreed to an extent. I still think there’s something sillier about a Spider-Man musical than a Producers-esque musical make-over of a beloved 70’s comedy.

    Spamalot was decent, although I was very disappointed in David Hyde Pierce.

  10. This is the dumbest idea ever, come on Julie don’t waist your precious talent on such foolish kiddy crap

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