FILM Toronto Universe

According to a report on the Bloomberg website (at the end of a trail I picked up at JoBlo), the massively expensive, tremendously ambitious Broadway musical based upon Marvel Comics’ friendly, neighbourhood Spider-Man has been smacked with delays. On the new schedule, rehearsals will begin in the Autumn and the show is likely to premiere at some point in 2010. The official reason for the hold up is simple: director Julie Taymor and her collaborators are still chewing over some key decisions…

…and with a budget of over $31 million dollars and a tricky blend of audience expectations to interpret, I can’t say I blame them. That’s a whole lot of responsibility and could give a soul some sleepless nights.

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Jim Sturgess as Spider-Man

When a Broadway Bono and The Edge-scored musical adaptation of Spider-Man was first announced, director Julie Taymor (Across The Universe) said that she wanted to cast Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess in the lead roles. Well maybe they weren’t available or interested, because an open singer-actors call will take place in Manhattan on July 28th. Looks like they might go with some non big name talent.

Peter Parker is described as “male, 16-20’s [with a] great rock voice, can be nerdy with understated sex appeal, good sense of humor.”

Mary Jane is described as “female, 16-20’s, beautiful girl next door, strong pop/rock singing voice.”

And a second principal woman role is listed as “female, 25-35 years old [with] amazing rock vocals. Think Sinead O’Connor with a Middle Eastern/Bulgarian/Greek twist. Foreign, world music types are great, foreign accents are great.” Described in earlier casting notices as Arachne, a “beautiful, boastful young woman turned into a spider for her hubris and lack of respect for the gods. She subsequently appears to Peter Parker and the audience as in turn a powerful spider-woman who comes from another time to inspire Peter; an otherworldly lover; a bride; a terrifying (and sexy) dark goddess of vengeance; a dance partner in a charged and violent spiders dance of death; and, finally, a lonely, fragile young woman.”

No production timetable has been announced.

source: Playbill

Jim Sturgess as Spider-Man

Earlier this year Julie Taymor (The Lion King) announced plans to direct a Broadway musical based on Spider-Man. With Across The Universe now behind her, the casting process is upcoming. Taymor told The Daily Mail that she hopes to reteam with her Across The Universe cast for the stage project. Apparently Taymor would like to cast Jim Sturgess as Peter Parker aka Spider-Man and Evan Rachel Wood as Mary Jane Watson.

“There, I’ve said it. Now I have to go through a web to get them,” Taymor said, adding: “Jim’s certainly interested, but his film career has taken off, so I have to nab him between movies. Same with Evan. They’d be my ideal pairing, though, if they’re free.”

Wood and Sturgess are such perfect, yet different, choices for the stage adaptation. But forget about a musical, why not have Wood and Sturgess in Spider-Man 4? It looks like Tobey, Kirsten and Sam won’t be returning for a fourth Spider-man film (of course, this all could change). Am I crazy for suggesting the idea? Who would you cast in a Spider-Man musical? Or Spider-Man 4 for that matter?

New Photo: Across The Universe

Across The Universe

With the Toronto Film Festival ready to ramp up next week, we’ve just gotten our hands on a ton of new production photos from some of our most anticipated films of Fall 2007. First up is a new photo from Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe, a romantic musical told through the music of The Beatles. If you haven’t yet seen the trailer, watch it now.

The photo above shows Jim Sturgess, who plays Jude in the film (of “Hey Jude” fame) staring at some strawberries on the wall. The marketing department has been using strawberries in the marketing of this film as a metaphor for a bleeding heart (or at least that’s my interpretation). Click on the image to enlarge, check back next week for our review.  Across The Universe hits theaters on September 21st 2007.

New Across The Universe Photo and Videos

Across The Universe

Across The Universe is on our list for the most anticipated films of 2007. We’ve been waiting for this film for what seems like forever. The movie trailer was released in February and absolutely blew us away (if you haven’t seen it yet, watch it now). Then came stories that director Julie Taymor was fighting with the studio to keep her final cut after Revolution Studios founder Joe Roth re-cut the film without her permission. It will be interesting to see what this film looks like when it premieres at Toronto. MTV Has posted a new photo from the film (seen above).

MTV also has two exclusive clips of a pre-Marilyn Manson Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess singing classic Beatles tunes in Julie Taymor’s upcoming film. You can watch them at Overdrive.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Across The Universe Movie Poster

Across The Universe Movie PosterWe’ve been looking forward to Across The Universe ever since we heard the words “Beatles” and “musical” used in the same sentence. The movie trailer looks amazing. Who cares what Roth says, we have faith in Academy Award nominated director Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus). Check out the new theatrical poster to the right. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Described as a “romantic musical” told through numerous Beatles songs performed by the characters, Across The Universe is a love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, mind exploration and rock ‘n roll, the film moves from the dockyards of Liverpool to the creative psychedelia of Greenwich Village, from the riot-torn streets of Detroit to the killing fields of Vietnam. The star-crossed lovers, Jude (Jim Sturgess) and Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), along with a small group of friends and musicians, are swept up into the emerging anti-war and counterculture movements, with Dr. Robert (Bono) and Mr. Kite (Eddie Izzard) as their guides. Tumultuous forces outside their control ultimately tear the young lovers apart, forcing Jude and Lucy against all odds to find their own way back to each other.

The film stars Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Martin Luther, Eddie Izzard, Salma Hayek, Bono, Dana Fuchs and T.V. Carpio. Across The Universe hits theaters on September 28th, 2007.

Julie Taymor to direct Spider-Man Musical

Green GoblinAcademy Award nominated director Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus, Across the Universe) will be directing a Spider-Man Musical. That’s right, a musical. According to SHH, the New York City theater production will feature the music and lyrics of Bono and Edge from U2. Tell me the date, and I’ll be there.

Taymor received the 1998 Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical for her work on The Lion King, becoming the first woman in Tony Award history to receive the prize. The production is currently casting, with rehearsals set to begin on July 2nd.

Universal Studios Hollywood has an unrelated Spider-Man musical titled Spider-Man Rocks! Rock-n-Roll Musical (Green Goblin pictured above, photo credit: Ron Reznick). I found videos from the aforementioned show on YouTube. Check them out below followed by the official casting notice. Let’s hope Julie and Bono can produce something better (at least with some better costumes and music at least).
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As you probably know, Across the Universe is one of the under-the-radar films we’ve been really looking forward to. Universe is a love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s, described as a “romantic musical” told through numerous Beatles songs performed by the characters. You can watch the theatrical trailer at this link.

Anyway, it seems like the movie studio and director are having a huge disagreement about the final cut (which is never good). It could lead to Academy Award nominated director Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus) removing her name from the project.
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