Who should replace Julie Taymor on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark?

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Photograph: Joan Marcus

The Rialto is abuzz with rumors that producers of the epically screwed Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark are in negotiations with aesthetically deranged rdirector Julie Taymor. On the table, apparently, is the option that Taymor simply vacate the director's chair, or take a backseat to someone else. That would be a drastic changing of horses in midstream, but the show really does need a top-to-bottom overhaul. After the jump, our top five (mostly serious) picks for Taymor's replacement.

Michael Mayer: There's more passion, danger and artistry in five minutes of American Idiot than in the whole of Julie Taymor's misbegotten rock-circus train wreck. Mayer has proved two things in the last few years: He's great with rock musicals (including Spring Awakening) and he's extremely sensitive to stories involving troubled teens. Peter Parker and his strange new powers are right up Mayer's alley.

Robert Lepage: Anyone who caught the French-Canadian director's utterly enchanting The Nightingale and Other Short Fables at BAM last week knows that Lepage can conjure up amazing images using both cutting-edge technology and simple shadow puppetry. Give him $65 million (which is more than three times his budget for the Met's new Ring Cycle) and just watch the gravity-defying magic happen.

David Cromer: Everything he touches turns to gold, right? Seriously, Cromer may have made his name with the rock-solid revivals of Our Town and Brighton Beach Memoirs, but he's no stranger to musicals. He's been tapped to help develop the promising tuner Yank! But also, yes, everything Cromer touches turns to gold.

George C. Wolfe: Wolfe is able to pull off bloated, crazy, messy theater with a born showman's flair. See his heroic, flamboyant work on John Guare's tricky portmanteau history farce, A Free Man of Color. Of course, it might mean recasting, like Mos Def playing Peter Parker.

Elizabeth Streb: You want performers to execute high-impact moves that are thrillingly kinetic and dangerous-looking? Look no further than the choreographer who specializes in stunt-based movement, with dancers diving through glass and crashing to the ground (without needing a trip to the emergency room).

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