The web surrounding oft-delayed Broadway production “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” has become a bit more tangled with the departure of leading lady Evan Rachel Wood.
Producers for the superhero musical, with tunes penned by U2’s own Bono and The Edge, released a statement regarding the sudden split on March 9. Wood was cast as Mary Jane Watson, the main love interest for Spider-Man’s alter-ego Peter Parker.
“Evan Rachel Wood has departed ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ due to a scheduling conflict,” producers said in the statement, according to Variety. “Casting is underway to find a new Mary Jane to join the rest of the cast in the production.”
Any supposed “scheduling conflicts” should come as no surprise to followers of the seemingly ill-fated fête. Since plans for “Spider-Man” were announced in 2007, burgeoning financial concerns pushed previews from February 2010 back to an undetermined date in the fall.
As producers told the New York Times, production was halted over the summer due to an “unexpected cash flow problem.”
But even after Michael Cohl signed on as lead producer in November, financial issues continued into the New Year. Ultimately, producers were forced to issue ticket refunds for the delayed February previews.
An exact start-date for “Spider-Man” is yet to be set. The production’s current listing with Playbill outlines a September start for previews, and published reports have speculated about an opening night on or around Halloween.
When the first signs of financial trouble arose last year, production costs were estimated in the $40 million range. However, Variety‘s recent report pushed the budget closer to $50 million, putting “Spider-Man” on track to become one of the most expensive Broadway shows ever.
Despite Wood’s departure, actors Alan Cumming and Reeve Carney are reportedly still on board as the Green Goblin and Peter Parker, respectively. The musical is being directed by Julie Taymor, who won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for “The Lion King.”