Marvel’s Spider-Man swings from comic book to Broadway stage

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The much talked about Spider-Man musical might make its way onto Broadway next year, according to Marvel Studios Chairman David Maisel.

The production, based on the popular comic book and movie character, has been in the works for the past three and a half years, Maisel said Monday at the Thomas Weisel Consumer Conference in New York.

The studio previously announced that it tapped Bono and The Edge of rock group U2 for the show’s music and Julie Taymor of “The Lion King” musical to direct.

Maisel is no stranger to Broadway himself, having worked on “Fosse,” which won the Tony for best musical in 1999.

The Internet has been abuzz about the web slinger’s possible leap to the stage since last year, with casting call notices sparking fervent chatter. A move to Broadway would put Marvel in the company of Walt Disney Co., which has been very successful in extending brands such as “Mary Poppins,” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Lion King” into theatrical productions.

Marvel Entertainment Inc. recently strengthened its financial position by creating its own film studio, which has enabled it to keep more of the revenue from movies based on its popular characters. Last month the New York-based company said its second-quarter profit surged 61 percent on pre-sales of the movies “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk.”

A fourth installment in the Spider-Man movie franchise is said to be hitting theaters in 2011.