His last high-profile gig, as chairman of Live Nation, did not end well, but now über-promoter Michael Cohl is hoping to spin a web of magic in a new role.
Cohl, one of the more influential executives in the music industry over the past several decades, has signed on as the lead producer for the troubled Broadway musical “Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark.” The musical was slated to open in February 2010, but could not secure enough funding and temporarily suspended production over the summer.
The production costs for the musical are expected to exceed $40 million, and even with Cohl’s involvement, all financing has not yet been secured. But, the producers expect they will finalize the money situation shortly. Cohl is not new to Broadway, having been involved in the productions of The Lion King and “The Producers,” among others.
In addition to Cohl, the other producers on the musical include Marvel Entertainment/David Maisel, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Jeremiah J. Harris. The musical will play at the Hilton Theatre, but new dates have not yet been announced.
Despite currently being the subject of a popular film franchise, and even with music by U2’s Bono and The Edge, the musical has not been able to avoid the harsh economic landscape. And in Cohl, the production has picked up a producer not afraid to aggressively spend money to create a project.
While at Live Nation, Cohl’s willingness to spend big to sign acts to “360-degree deals,” mega contracts that covered artists’ touring, recording and merchandising components, led to him clashing with Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino, and Cohl’s subsequent resignation. Interestingly, U2 was one of the acts Live Nation signed to a big deal.
Cohl received a $4.5 million payment for consulting upon resigning from Live Nation, and he signed a multi-year non-compete agreement.
“Having started early on with Spider-Man and now taking on the lead producing role is extremely exciting and a welcome challenge,” Cohl said in a prepared statement. “Knowing the details and intricacies of this wildly ambitious project, I want to ‘turn off the dark’ on all the wild speculation about the show — it’s moving forward!”