ComicMix Six: Things That Must Happen Before I See ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’
This article may be apocryphal considering that the most expensive Broadway production is still in previews, and its start date has been held up by a litany of horrendous accidents, injuries, and plot elements that would make Scooby-Doo go “Aroo?”
As a die-hard comic book geek and as someone who loves a Costco-sized serving of schadenfreude, I have been following news about Julie Taymor’s musical fiasco, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. I’m sure I’m not the only one who upon reading report after report of injury or “WTF” reviews would come to the conclusion “How the HELL can this continue?
In the event that it does continue, here’s a list of things that must happen altogether for me to see Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark:
- Julie Taymor, Bono, & The Edge must issue a formal apology for the accidents, the ridiculous plot elements, uninspired songs, and a second act that makes about as much sense as Nick Nolte and Tom Waits on a bender.
- There must be a permanent restraining order forbidding Julie Taymor, Bono, and The Edge from ever working together again. The restraining order must further stipulate that Bono and The Edge must never work in musical theater.
- Get rid of the Greek Chorus of Geeks. It’s an interesting device, and a nod to fans, but it’s a bloated appendix: superfluous and in dire need of being excised immediately.
- Get rid of Arachne. It’s one of the first things to screw with comic book canon. Ms. Taymor may think it’s adding a new dimension to the story, but the inclusion of the Greek mythological figure is little more than an elaborate, long-winded non sequitur.
- Rewrite Uncle Ben’s death. In changing Ben Parker’s death, a huge part of Spider-Man’s impetus has been changed as well. Spider-Man is driven by guilt for not doing the right thing. In Julie Taymor’s version, the impetus is in less direct fashion that has no obvious bearing on Peter Parker and what he should have done. In ANY version of the established origin, Spider-Man is a better hero for having incorporated this guilt.
- Remove all the superfluous villains in the second act including Swiss Miss. The inclusion of so many villains lessens the importance of any one of these famous bad guys. Carnage, Electro, The Lizard, and Kraven are no minor figures to Spider-Man. Grouping them altogether makes it seem like Spider-Man is Moe against a group of Shemps. And how the hell do you have a character like Carnage without first explaining who Eddie Brock was? It’s almost like Julie Taymor never heard about one of the most fundamental rules of superhero movies: NEVER load up a project with a buttload of villains. Then again, maybe she thought she could pull it off.