Space Ramblings

Julie Taymor Steps Out

Julie Taymor got her reputation by taking the Lion King and adapting it into an unconnected show that was exotic enough that no one asked any inconvenient questions. Then she tried to do the same thing to Spider-Man, not set in Africa, but her own crazy version of Spider-Man, that was more about her, than about Spider-Man. If the production hadn’t been completely mismanaged, if performers weren’t getting hurt and Turn Off the Dark had original music for people to walk away with, she might have gotten away with it.

But it didn’t and she didn’t. Spider-Man is still one of the more popular comic book characters around. Tossing around symbolism and expecting people to feel humbled by the experience worked for The Lion King, but it was never going to work for Spider Man. People know who Spider Man is and they expect him to show up. Not Arachnia.

After all these years, Julie Taymor showed she never had a feel for the material. She wanted to make a show about the idea of Spider-Man, rather than about Spider-Man. Her idea of Spider-Man. And that’s where she went wrong.

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