Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark has been dealt yet another blow, this time in the form of super-villain actress Natalie Mendoza’s decision to quit the seemingly cursed Broadway production.
Mendoza has officially called time on her short-lived inclusion in the musical which features scores by U2’s Bono and The Edge, in order to recover completely from an injury she picked up in the first few days of the show.
Despite her decision to walk away from the most expensive Broadway show ever, she insists that quitting the production was “a difficult decision to make”.
Mendoza was cast as super-villain Arachne in Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, but early in the show’s first preview performance she was hit on the head by a weighted rope. She suffered concussion but was back performing a few days later.
Although she returned to action after three days she was forced to take a further two weeks rest after she suffered nausea and headaches. During her absence, understudy America Olivo assumed the mantle of Arachne.
Rumours surfaced earlier this week that Mendoza was set to leave the show, and her unhappiness was compounded by a Twitter post in which she wrote, “Can feel a trip to India coming on & visiting my magic little orphanage Ramana’s Garden in Rishikesh. Raising funds as we speak. Be the change.”
The show’s Lead Producer, Michael Cohl issued a statement confirming Mendoza’s departure, and she has now spoken about her decision to leave the ambitious Broadway show.
“It has been a difficult decision to make, but I regret that I am unable to continue on Spider-Man as I recover from my injury,” said a clearly torn Mendoza, “I wish Julie [Taymor] and the cast and crew every success with this production.”
Taymor responded by saying, “Natalie is a talented performer. We’ve appreciated her contributions to the show and we wish her all the best.”
To date four actors including Mendoza have suffered injuries, ranging from broken wrists to serious neck traumas, and last week it was feared the show would be closed permanently unless more stringent safety measures were put in place.
Stars from other Broadway shows were asking whether it would take someone’s death before people realised how dangerous the show is.
Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark cost $65 million to put together, but the hefty price tag aside, the show has been beset by bad luck and cast resignations, including top names such as Alan Cummings who was originally set to play the Arch-Villain Green Goblin. Cummings and Evan Rachel Wood (who was originally cast as Mary Jane Watson) both opted out of the production citing difficulties with their respective schedules.
How much more bad publicity and bad luck the show can withstand remains to be seen, but with a similar Batman production set to preview in the UK this coming year, producers must be taking a long hard look at their options.
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Read our previous coverage of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark including mounting injuries, fourth actor injured, as well as our Spiderman, Batman and The Joker psyches.
images: io9.com, paolarecabarren.com