The First Trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is Here

You’ll never guess it – they’re making another Spider-Man reboot. Personally, we’re still on the Toby Maguire page arachnid-wise, but here’s to hoping this latest iteration of everyone’s favorite insect-inspired gymnast delivers a compelling story.

The new Peter Parker is played by Tom Holland, who appeared in the role as a cameo in Captain America: Civil War. The film also stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, serving as Parker’s super-powered mentor in a new take on the classic story. Michael Keaton, Hannibal Burress and Marissa Tomei round out the cast.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is directed by Jon Watts and written by Christopher D. Ford and Erik Sommers. It’s set for release on July 7.

Check out the trailer below:

What You Need To Know About Broadway’s New ‘Pippin’ Revival

We all want to live an extraordinary life. It’s challenging when things like taxes, delayed subway trains, and burnt coffee exist, but we try. Starting March 23rd, Broadway’s 31st longest-running show Pippin is returning to Broadway since its 1977 close, and bringing with it a whole new surge of inspiration to live an extraordinary life – which means you’re totally not off the hook this year. Having just returned from the open press rehearsal, here are a couple of things to  know about the show ahead of time.

1. Since Stephen Schwartz (composer/lyricist of Wicked) is the man behind Pippin’s music, please do expect to walk in already knowing the show’s ‘70s pop anthem “Corner Of The Sky,” and/or singing it on your way out.

2. Pippin, played by Matthew James Thomas (former Spider-Man in Turn Off the Dark), resembles a bit of a 20-something, very attractive Peter Pan, which is slightly disconcerting, but somehow condoned when he sings and takes his shirt off.

3. The dance moves choreographed by the show’s original director/legend Bob Fosse are well-preserved and impeccably performed by the animated Patina Miller (starred in Sister Act), who’s the show’s "Leading Player" character.

4. Since the title character’s quest for an extraordinary life is told by a performance troupe, you will see lots of the following: dancers doing flips through hula hoops, human pyramids, Patina swaying across the stage mid-hula hooping, and impossibly-toned abs.

Previews begin March 23rd at the Music Box Theatre. Pippin opens April 25th.

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Spider-Man Showdown: Which Origin Story Was Better?

By now, we’ve all had enough time to soak in the latest big-screen adaptation of Marvel’s web-slinging superhero, and the second try at depicting Spider-Man’s beginnings in nearly a decade’s time. Yet Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man adopts a different tone than Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spidey opus, which marked the first effort in an eventual trilogy. The main villain, love interest and climactic set pieces have all been updated, but most crucially, Webb casts Peter Parker in a different light this time around—instead of Tobey Maguire’s congenial good guy, we have Andrew Garfield as a brooding, whiny teenager, trying to make sense of his father’s death.

Comic book fans will debate whether or not The Amazing Spider-Man is more faithful to the Marvel Comics than Spider-Man, but our debate is more simple: which one is the better movie? Check out our critical comparison of the two cinematic beginnings of the superhero, and see which one we thought offered more overall satisfaction (Warning: heavy spoilers ahead).

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Spider-Man Director Slings a $1Million Lawsuit Web

For better or worse, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark hasn’t been in the press much recently, not compared to its tumultuous beginnings, anyway, when it was reguar front page news. But ousted director Julie Taymor is reigniting the backstage drama, when it was announced yesterday that she is suing the producers of the show, for continuing to use her work without proper compensation, to which we say, fair enough.  

The suit is worth at least $1 million, plus royalties, and despite the new creative team’s re-imagination of the show since Taymor’s departure, the lawsuit contends that the producers “have continued to promote, use, change and revise Taymor’s work… without her approval or authorization and in violation of their agreements with Taymor.”

The show undoubtedly owes much to Taymor, who put seven years of her life into its creation. And while Taymor’s version of Turn Off the Dark was a critical disaster and all-around freakshow, as the creator of The Lion King, the third longest-running show in Broadway history, she still commands respect as a major artist. This could be her lashing out, still not over getting the boot, or, more likely, girl just wants her money. Sue on!   

T.V. Carpio on the Trials & Tribulations of ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’

What else can be said about Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark that hasn’t already been said, except that tonight officially signals the end of the most tumultuous and talked-about creative process in the history of Broadway? That’s right, it’s opening night. Officially. For real. To mark the occasion, we sat down with actress T.V. Carpio, who’s been with the troubled production in various roles since the beginning, and who’s own personal roller coaster on the set represents just how crazy things got behind the scenes at Spider-Man.

Carpio auditioned for the role of Mary Jane Watson after original star Evan Rachel Wood left the production. Instead, she was cast as a member of the so-called geek chorus, a group of comic book nerds who narrated the proceedings, and were said to be stand-ins for the show’s creators: Julie Taymor, Bono, and The Edge. But when Natalie Mendoza, who played the controversial villainess Arachne, pulled out after sustaining a concussion in one of the show’s notorious accidents, Carpio was called in to replace her, becoming one of the show’s leads. Everyone knows what happened next. After a wave of negative reviews delayed the show’s opening even further, director Julie Taymor was unceremoniously pushed out by the show’s producers. Even Mayor Bloomberg took a crack at the struggling musical.

In came seasoned Broadway director Philip McKinley, who was charged with revamping Taymor’s idiosyncratic and dense version into something mass audiences could easily digest and enjoy. His first order of business was eliminating the geek chorus entirely and trimming Carpio’s meaty role to just three songs throughout the course of the show. The Spider-Man opening on Broadway will be something much closer to Sam Raimi’s original blockbuster film, and, according to Carpio, highly changed from Taymor’s version.

We had the chance to see the show a few weeks ago, and the good news is that T.V. Carpio makes the most of her stage time. All three of her songs are show-stoppers, with Carpio dangling above the stage while belting out some of the show’s most rousing numbers. We caught up with the actress last week before an afternoon performance to discuss the high-flying, unpredictable craziness that is life on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

All your scenes take place in mid-air. Do they take extra measures to secure you guys now? For sure. For instance, Chris Tierney, the one who fell, has three tethers to him, it’s like triangle. He thinks it’s a bit extreme as well. Before it was just one.

Now that you’re about to open, is all this starting to feel normal? I don’t think we know what normal is.

Will you be nervous on opening night? I don’t know if nervous is the right word, because we’ve done it so much now.

But won’t there be added pressure, knowing the audience will be filled with critics? Critics are human. They’re going to say what they want to say, and I can’t control that. I can do my best, and we’ve had both the privilege and burden of having so many previews.

When that first wave of reviews came out, what kind of effect did that have on everyone? It sort of banded everybody together. Of course it’s crushing when somebody doesn’t like your work, but it’s like we felt that they were not judging a finished product. It’s like coming to a new restaurant and eating the food before the whole menu has is done.

Did you feel it was unfair? What is unfair? I would say yes, but we’re also…I don’t know…who am I to say?

Has it been difficult talking about the show after everything that happened? No.

You don’t feel like you have to be careful? It’s a sensitive, delicate issue, for sure, but I haven’t spent my life trying to be appropriate or anything.

When Reeve Carney told the New York Times the show is bulletproof, what do you think he means by that? I don’t know what he means by that, I can’t speak for him. I’d be a little more cautious. Who am I to say what’s bulletproof? But I’m not in that position, that’s why I’m not a producer. I don’t make those sorts of calls. It seems that people really liked it before, and people really like it now. It’s to be expected that some people like the other version more, and some people are going to like this version more, and some people are going to like both.

How different is this version? Completely different. I don’t think any scene has been untouched, but the foundation of what makes it magical is still what Julie came up with.

Do you think the goal of the rewrite was to make it more accessible? That’s what I heard; “family friendly,” not as dark, happier, more clear. These are the things I heard were goals.

Does opening night feel like the ending of a journey or the beginning of one? That’s a really good question. It feels like an end to the creative bit. We’ve been under so much duress because things have constantly been changing on a daily basis, whether it be a word or a line, or an entire paragraph or scene. I think the end of that will be nice to just be able to settle in, and just do the show as is, and have a normal life again. A lot of us have forgotten what that’s because everyone has been married to Spider-Man.

What are you going to do with your free time? I don’t know, because the little hours we have we cram so much in on that one day. There’s so little precious time in the day to do the little things, like turn to the person that you love and say ‘I love you,’ or call your family up and say ‘how are you.’

Did you ever feel like you lost control in this whole process? I figured out that the only thing I can control is my own happiness. It may sound cheesy, but no one can dictate how happy you are. So I just had to find ways to deal with it, whatever the changes were.

Did the fact that the show became a late night punchline of sorts become hurtful? I don’t think so, we were laughing too. We were just happy that people were talking about us. It’s not like we didn’t have a good sense of humor about it.

Does it make you sad that so many people won’t be able to see Julie’s version of the show? Make me sad?

Do you wish people could see that show? People saw it. That’s a tricky question. I think naturally, anyone who loves Julie is going to wish they could have seen the finished product.

Do you think she will ever see this version of the show? I think she will at some point.

Are you in contact with her? Yeah. I talk to her a lot.

Does she ask about the show? She seems to know more than I do sometimes. She knows a lot of people there. She gets the show report.

When the changeover was happening, were there a lot of rumors amongst the cast? There were, but there’s always so many rumors and actually I tended to base my beliefs on what is true rather than on what the press was printing, because a lot of it seemed like it was leaked before the cast even knew about it. Even about my part being cut down, I had a very clear idea before they even told me. I was ready by that time, it wasn’t a shock.

Were you disappointed that your part got cut? Of course. You grow to love a character, but I was also sad about the chorus too. I created that character down to what she was wearing, they copied it from what I wore to work. Same as not getting Mary Jane the first time around. As an actor, after you’ve worked so hard on something and you don’t get something, it can be disappointing. But my mom was really helpful with helping me see the silver lining always because she’s been in this business for over 40 years. And she was always reminding me of all the things I should be grateful for.

What does it feel like to be suspended in midair, singing? It’s very uncomfortable. I have these harnesses riding up where my groin and legs meet, and it’s very tight, so you’re just hanging with all your body weight there for three or four scenes, and you go down and sing a song. It’s much more body controlled, versus a thrill.

How present have Bono and the Edge been in the process of revamping the show? They’ve been in and out like they have with this whole process. When they are here, they’re in it, they live and breathe it, and have their hands in all the music, and they’re always wanting to make things better.

So what was it like to working with your new director, after working with Julie for most of the process? Nobody had time to even mourn that Julie was leaving, or really accept exactly what was going on, other than having to do what we had to do, because we went straight into rehearsals the next day. It wasn’t like it was a day or two off. I can say that for myself, it was just happening so fast. Nobody really had time to think. I think it was sad, traumatizing, it was all those things.

Did you ever consider, even after you got injured, leaving the show? No, I really love my job.

What do you guys do when the show’s over? Depends. If it’s somebody’s birthday, we’ll go out. Julie came one time and she was hanging out for somebody’s birthday, and we went out and got drinks. With this kind of schedule I kind of have to live like a nun.

Do you mean like you can’t party? I’ve tried it before, and it does not work. It just takes too much work and too much concentration. There’s so many people running around backstage, you could get injured just being bowled over if you’re not aware. And then with my singing voice, I can’t really go out where I have to speak over loud people.

What was the lowest low in all of this? One was taking over the part of Arachne. People had not seen me play that kind of a role — evil, forceful, and raging. Having to prove myself, even to myself, that was both the lowest low and the highest highest, because I fought for myself and the belief that I could do it. Even Julie asked me to understudy it, but didn’t feel I was completely right for it because she thought I was too young. And I can’t make myself be older. But the first night I went out as Arachne, I’ve never felt more support from other people in my life. Another low was obviously when Julie was gone. She was the only staple that was there every single day with us.

Mike Bloomberg Mocks ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’

Apparently Mike Bloomberg does comedy? At last night’s Inner Circle comedy show, put on by City Hall reporters, the mayor arrived dressed up as Spider-Man, getting stuck (intentionally) in mid-air to poke fun at the flailing Spider-Man musical’s technical problems. “Will I be up here long?” he joked. Our mayor, everyone!

A stagehand replied, “We just have to issue an RFP, get three bona-fide bids, go before the community board, submit a ULURP application, and do an environmental-impact statement — and we’ll have you down and you can grab the train home.” Get it? The extended joke is kind of a clunker, but it’s nonetheless refreshing to see the mayor being silly. Points for trying.

Plus this picture, via the Post, is crazy:


Bloomberg also made fun of a number of different NYC-related topics, like the newly named “Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge” and the city’s unpopular response to the blizzard in December. The theme of the night was “Meet the Focker-Uppers,” in reference to Meet the Parents, which is literally an eleven-year-old cultural allusion. Couldn’t have been written by anyone under the age of 40, I suspect.

5 Career Options for a Newly Unemployed Julie Taymor

In case you hadn’t heard, Julie Taymor is all but free from the quagmire that is Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. The speculation is so thick (is she stepping down? did Bono shoo her out?), the sources so numerous, that it’s pretty much a done deal. It’s sad to see to see an artist of Taymor’s talent and conviction fall short of realizing her vision, but Broadway always seemed like an ill fit for her idiosyncratic sensibilities, despite The Lion King‘s success. The question now is, how will this epic professional and creative letdown affect Taylor’s confidence, and therefore her career? Will she rebound with something so mind-meltingly ahead of its time that we won’t be able to comprehend it until 2054? Or will she start directing sitcom pilots for NBC? Here are a few career options for the embattled genius.

Direct Batman: Turn Off the Dark Knight on Broadway. Second time’s a charm, right? The dark themes and Gothic undertones of the Batman saga could be perfect for the woman who directed Titus. The only problem: Batman doesn’t sing, no matter what. It just doesn’t happen. How could Taymor get around this? Hire Trent Reznor to compose an industrial score, and have the Caped Crusader scream his lyrics. Done.

Become Lady Gaga’s go-to video director. Sorry, Jonas Åkerlund, but there’s a new bitch in town. Lady Gaga has a new album filled with music videos just waiting to be directed by someone with the same knack for phantasmagoric visuals as herself. And since Taymor loves setting her compositions to music, this could be the most ideal collaboration since Charlie Sheen and Chuck Lorre, or something.

Step in as the Creative Director at Dior. Thanks to Hitler, there’s an opening at the French fashion house, and although Dior head Sidney Toledano has reportedly found his man, we nominate Taymor. Her outre imagination can help fill the void left by bizzaro designers Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, and she still gets to keep ‘director’ as part of her title, which is all anyone really wants.

Write a book about her Spider-Man ordeal. The last time Julie Taymor tried to write a book, it didn’t go so well. But what about a book about why it didn’t go so well? If she’s too emotionally destroyed to appear in public for a while, she can lock herself up in her Manhattan apartment and bang this thing out. Our suggested title: How to Fail in Theater While Really Trying.

Direct and produce U2’s next world tour. Because her, Bono, and The Edge made such a good team the first time.

Afternoon Links: Whoopi Lashes Out at the Times, Tiger Woods Spits Up

● The new Spider-Man movie, starring Andrew Garfield, has itself a cocky new title: The Amazing Spider-Man. [/Film] ● Whoopi Goldberg is hurt and confused after the New York Times omitted her name from an article about the white-washing of this year’s Oscar nominees. It’s how I felt when my name was left off a recent Times expose about slightly overweight, sexually immature bloggers. [TMZ] ● Last night’s Grammy’s telecast got its best rating in ten years, meaning everyone got to see Rihanna’s backup dancers for the despicable cowards they truly are. [HuffPo]

● Tiger Woods got some heat when he was caught spitting on the golf course at the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament, proving that not even he can avoid controversy. [VF] ● Watch Aziz Ansari demonstrate his flawless storytelling skills with this very entertaining story about an New Year’s Eve encounter with Jay-Z. [Gawker.TV] ● Anna Wintour gets her own elevator at the Plaza hotel, while other guests are forced to wait like the non-Vogue Editor-in-Chiefs that they are. [NY Times]

Videos: Hitchcock’s cameos, MGMT’s Infomercial, Wes Anderson’s ‘Spider-Man’

● An ice skater throws on some plaid and triple toe loops the hell out of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” [Boing Boing]

● All of Alfred Hitchcock’s cameos in his own films. [Moviefone]

● MGMT puts together an intentionally cheeseball infomercial to promote their new album Congratulations (comes with scratch off cover!) [Flavorwire]

● What if Wes Anderson had directed Spider-Man? [Guardian ]