A Tangled Web: Spider-Man Musical Faces Further Three-Month Delay, Director Departure

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At this point, would it be easier to put poor old Spidey out of his misery?

The New York Times is reporting that the ill-fated Broadway musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, will be staying dark until at least June. The exact dates for the shutdown (the latest reason is to give the cast a break and hold new rehearsals) haven’t been set, according to those briefed on the producers’ plans, who spoke Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.

(More on TIME.com: See more on the ill-fated Spider-Man musical)

March 15 was meant to be the grand opening, but the Times is suggesting that a new start date around the mid-June mark (which would tie in with the Tony Awards) was possible. But the show’s representative, Rick Miramontez, was still holding firm Tuesday, saying “opening night remains scheduled for March 15.” If NewsFeed had a hat, we would eat it if that turns out to be the case.

And if next week’s date comes and goes, it would mean an incredible sixth delay for a show that was first mooted back in 2002. Tuesday night’s preview was the 99th such performance — Jay Z could rewrite his hit tune to suggest that “I’ve got 99 Problems and Spider-Man is one — and at a rumored $65 million, it’s both the most expensive and longest-running show in previews in Broadway history.

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 plays and musicals of 2010.)

To say there have been teething troubles is an understatement. The ambitious aerial stunts have resulted in some cast injuries to say nothing of various state and federal safety code violations. NewsFeed wishes all involved nothing but the best but wonders whether it’s better to call it a day and draw a line under what will forever be known as a living nightmare for director Julie Taymor. And the Times has also reported that her future could be in doubt, if producers supposedly get their way and either get Taymor to work with a newly expanded creative team or ask her to potentially leave the show for good.

***Update*** Sadly for Taymor, it looks like the latter option was taken, as it’s emerging that she’s to leave the show. Producers have said that her replacement is Philip William McKinley, who previously directed the Hugh Jackman musical, The Boy From Oz, as well as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circuses. What’s more, a script doctor is being brought in to rewrite the show. You can read the official statement here.

As for Taymor’s former colleagues, U2’s Bono and The Edge, who knows what they must be thinking, unaccustomed as they are to being involved with a flop. Indeed, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark must now be teetering on the edge. And the only direction may be down.