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Julie Taymor to Develop New TV Series, Film Musical

In an interview published in yesterday's New York Times, Julie Taymor, who is currently focusing on her new production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," reveals that she has plans to develop three new series for television. Among the new projects will be 'Fanny', a retelling of the Erica Jong novel 'Fanny Hill' that the Lion King director describes as, "18th-century Hogarthian intellectual sex romp."

The Tony winner is also in the process of financing a a musical adaptation of Thomas Mann's novel "Transposed Heads" for the big screen. The movie will be a collaboration between her and her partner and frequent collaborator, Elliot Goldenthal.

Fiancing the project may be a bit difficult for Taymor, who has recently received negative press from her involvement in the Broadway production of Spider-Man, the biggest budgeted show in the history of the Great White Way which has yet to turn a profit. "I can't twist the producer's arm and say: You have to spend $75 million," Taymor explained.

Her new adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, stars David Harewood, Kathryn Hunter, Tina Benko and Max Casella, and will serve as the inaugural production at Theatre for a New Audience's permanent new home in downtown Brooklyn, New York. Previews are set to begin October 19 in advance of a November 2 opening.

In 1998, Julie Taymor became the first woman to win the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, and won a Tony for Best Costumes, for her production of The Lion King. The musical has gone on to become Broadway's all-time highest grossing show and the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history.

Other Broadway theatre credits include Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass, which earned five Tony nominations, and The Green Bird. Off-Broadway, she has directed Titus Andronicus, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, The Transposed Heads and Liberty's Taken.

Taymor's feature films include Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange and Alan Cumming; the biographical film Frida, starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina, which earned six Academy Award nominations, winning two; the Beatles-inspired Across the Universe, nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy; and her Helen Mirren-starring adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Tempest, which had its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival following a world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.

Beyond the theatre and screen, Taymor has directed five operas internationally, including Oedipus Rex with Jessye Norman, for which she earned the International Classical Music Award for Best Opera Production and an Emmy for a subsequent film version; as well asSalomé, The Flying Dutchman, Die Zauberflöte (in repertory at The Met), The Magic Flute (the abridgEd English version, which inaugurated a PBS series entitled "Great Performances at The Met") and Elliot Goldenthal's Grendel.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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