Fired director slams U2 men as absentee producers who let her take blame for $75m musical farce without knowing facts

Edge and Bono of U2

Absent: Edge and Bono

The director who worked on Bono and the Edge’s Spider-Man musical says she was sacked as a scapegoat after nine years of work – even though the U2 men didn’t know enough about the situation to support her dismissal.

Julie Taymor, who’s behind the successful Lion King musical and once described herself as someone who “didn’t want to play Cinderella or Snow White – I wanted to be the Wicked Witch of the West,” believes she was unfairly dismissed after Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark became a laughing-stock over its huge debts and series of script rewrites and rehearsal accidents.

Several actors were hospitalised during the development of the show and by the time it opened it was the most expensive potential flop in Broadway history, with a debt believed to be over $75m.

It’s been hammered by critics for poor music and a confusing storyline – but Taymor says the successful elements which involve live-action puppetry and the added dimension of seeing the puppetmasters in action were all her ideas.

That didn’t stop her being dismissed in February amid accusations she was “inefficient and inflexible,” with the Edge saying she was “exhausted and overwrought” before her departure.

Taymor tells Esquire: “There’s no doubt when I felt all of this stuff happening that I was exhausted by that – but not by the show and not by the inspiration I was getting from the actors.

“What was exhausting was the fact that the producers were absent. Those people weren’t there, so how does Bono know? I’m sorry.”

She denies the allegation she refused to compromise on script changes, saying: “Many of the things that were suggested, and changes that were offered by Bono, were made.”

Taymor says the producers who wanted rid of her needed to cast doubt on her abilities to bring about her sacking, which she describes as a “complete shock.”

But she adds: “Those were important to paint a picture of a director who you needed to release in order ot make this big change.

“I say, they asked me to get involved, they’ve seen my work. I compromise all the time. Nine years on Spider-Man, I still love what we were all trying to do.”

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