Broadway's 'Spider-Man' gets a new producer, leading man -- but still no opening date
Has "Spider-Man" been rescued from its own financial mess?
On the heels of reports that the musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" faces significant financial obstacles and may not even open, promoters of the troubled Broadway production have announced a new producer as well as a leading man.
A Friday afternoon press release announced that rock impresario Michael Cohl has joined the team as lead producer. It also stated that Jeremiah J. Harris, who was already announced as a producer, has taken the role of second producer on the show.
Cohl is a veteran producer and promoter in the world of rock music who has long been associated with the Rolling Stones. But he also has some Broadway experience. He was a producer of David Mamet's comedy "November" and his TGA Entertainment produced the hit Monty Python musical "Spamalot."
In 2008, Cohl stepped down as the head of Live Nation, one of the world's largest concert promoters.
The press release said "Spider-Man" is set to open in 2010 but did not specify an official opening date.
It's unclear how much money Cohl is bringing to the table and if it is enough to make up for the budgetary shortfalls that have plagued the production. Yesterday, The Times reported that the production still needs to raise as much as $24 million for the show, whose budget is said to be around $52 million.
Producers for the musical stated in the press release that "full financing for 'Spider-Man' is expected to be in place shortly. Once this happens the show will resume full production."
Cohl said in a statement: "I want to 'turn off the dark' on all the wild speculation about the show -- it's moving forward!”
The show's full production team now consists of Cohl, Harris, Hello Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Marvel Entertainment/David Maisel, and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
"Spider-Man" will be directed by Tony winner Julie Taymor and features songs by Bono and the Edge.
Perhaps of more interest to Spidey fans is news that the production has found its leading man. Reeve Carney, a rock musician, has been cast in the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. The announcement comes after a lengthy, multi-city casting call. Carney will join Evan Rachel Wood and Alan Cumming, who were announced earlier this year.
Carney recently filmed a role in Taymor's movie version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest."
-- David Ng
Photo: Reeve Carney, who has been cast in the title role in Broadway's "Spider-Man." Credit: Boneau / Bryan-Brown