CANNES: Julie Taymor Plans Mann Musical

EXCLUSIVE: The director, whose latest Shakespeare film adaptation The Tempest is being sold here, wants to do a movie version of Thomas Mann’s Transposed Heads next. Glenn Berger, co-writer of Broadway show Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, is writing the book. Elliot Goldenthal, who composed Across the Universe and Frida for Taymor, is penning the score.

But first she has to get Sony’s delayed Spider-Man musical out of the way. Taymor tells me this will finally premiere on Broadway this autumn. First, Evan Rachel Wood dropped out of playing Mary Jane. Then Alan Cumming left. The $50 million musical, with music by U2’s Bono and the Edge, was due to open in February.

Touchstone will release the $20 million The Tempest in English-language territories this December. Icon Films International is handling international sales. The film was pre-sold to Toho in Japan. Helen Mirren stars as a female Prospero with Djimon Hounsou as Caliban, Ben Whishaw as Ariel and Felicity Jones as Miranda. Russell Brand, Alfred Molina and Chris Cooper round out the cast.

Like The Tempest and her previous Shakespeare movie Titus Andronicus, Taymor has already directed Transposed Heads on stage. She plans to shoot this musical — which she describes as “a sexy love triangle” — in India and New York. “When it’s a good story you just finding new things in it,” she tells me, “and there are only so many good stories in the world.”

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