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Julie Taymor Discusses SPIDER-MAN & LION KING In TED Talk

August 8
6:25 PM 2013

Julie Taymor Discusses SPIDER-MAN & LION KING In TED TalkPassionate and visionary Broadway/Hollywood director Julie Taymor discusses her formative years in Indonesia, creating the stage adaptation of film favorite THE LION KING and bringing Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST to the big screen as well as the SPIDER-MAN debacle and much, much more in a 2011 TED Talk given by the first female Tony Award-winning director, newly available to view.

"I've been in theatre since I was eleven years old - creating; performing," Taymor recounts at one point in describing a metaphysical experience witnessing the roots of theatre in action while in Indonesia.

"What is the essence of it? What is the abstraction?" Taymor says in discussing how she developed the highly theatrical puppetry and staging/set conceits for her spectacular work on the stage adaptation of THE LION KING.

Then, Taymor moves on to an analysis of her big screen reworking of one of Shakespeare's weirdest and wildest plays, THE TEMPEST - in its newest, gender-bending iteration featuring a female Prospero in the personage of Helen Mirren, no less.

"I went from the theatre, doing THE TEMPEST on stage... but, I think it lends itself to cinema," Taymor says before illustrating the point with a scene from her own stage version versus the screen adaptation.

As for SPIDER-MAN? "It's a comic book coming alive," Taymor says of her vision for the piece, then at the height of a controversial extended preview period eventually ending in her ousting.

"What the hell are we doing up there on that stage?!" Taymor humorously adds after viewing a dizzying montage of scenes from the spider-themed stage musical.

Nonetheless, SPIDER-MAN as conceived originally by Taymor and described herein is a daring treatment on par with her finest stage and screen successes, it would appear - Shakespeare to The Beatles and beyond.

Oh, what could have been!

View the TED Talk by Julie Taymor below.

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Pat Cerasaro Pat Cerasaro contributes exclusive scholarly columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Theatrical Throwback Thursdays, Flash Friday and Flash Special as well as additional special features, world premiere clips and extensive news coverage. His work for the site has appeared in The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, US Weekly, The Biography Channel, NBC and more. He also wrote and directed two sold-out 2014 BroadwayWorld charity concert events featuring all-star casts, EVERYTHING'S COMING UP BROADWAYWORLD.COM: A JULE STYNE TRIBUTE and THE LORD & THE MASTER: BROADWAYWORLD.COM SINGS THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER & STEPHEN SONDHEIM.