Evan Rachel Wood talks about SPIDER-MAN on Broadway

     December 10, 2008

Written by Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub

As some of you know, Julie Taymor is directing a Broadway musical based on Spider-Man and it features the music of Bono and The Edge! It’s going to be one of those must see Broadway productions when it opens next year.

Anyway, since the rehearsals haven’t started yet and the show is still being put together, not much is known.

No one knows who the villain is, no one knows if Spider-Man would sing in costume, and no one knows if the show follows the movie or if it’s based more on the comic books.

And while I didn’t get the answers to all those questions, I did learn a lot while talking to Evan Rachel Wood during a roundtable interview for “The Wrestler” earlier today.

For those that haven’t heard, Evan is going to be playing Mary Jane Watson in the production and she revealed that she’s signed on to play the part for a year!

If you’re curious about the show…get ready to have a lot of questions answered!

Question: Is your hair for a new role or is that just for you?

Evan Rachel Wood: No, I did it just for me and then I realized I’m doing Spider-Man on Broadway starting in June after I colored my hair. I mean, duh! Mary Jane. I sent a photo to the director.

How do you feel about that project?

Evan Rachel Wood: I’m really excited. You know, it’s Julie Taymor who did the Lion King on Broadway and she’s kind of doing the same thing. I remember hearing the Lion King is going to be on Broadway and I’m going “Hmmmmm.” And then Julie Taymor just takes it to this whole other level. That’s what she’s doing with Spider-Man. Bono and The Edge are doing the music for it. I did the workshop and the little run through of it and it’s awesome. It’s really spectacular and they’re using new technology and wirework and Spider-Man never sings in tights, only as Peter Parker. A man does not sing in Spandex. (laughs) So that was a big deal.

Have you gotten any of the music yet for Spider-Man?

Evan: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I had to do a read through of it for Marvel in person, kind of an audition. So yeah, I’ve heard all the music and it’s so good. It makes me cry.

Did you work with Bono and The Edge on the songs themselves?

Evan: Yeah. They were coming, going “We wrote this song. Sing it.” Jim Sturgess who played Jude in Across the Universe did the workshop with me. We’re still trying to convince him to play Spider-Man, but I got to read it with him and he’s such a huge, huge U2 fan. There was one time he was learning the song and Bono and The Edge were playing the other parts so they were basically being his back-up singers and I just remember taking him to the side and going “Bono and The Edge were just your back-up singers. Can you just enjoy this moment right now for me, please? It’s 4th of July. We’re never going to forget this.” You know, it was awesome. It was amazing.

I have another Spider-Man question. I wanted to know when you signed on for that, how long of a commitment did you have to give?

Evan: It’s going to be a year total. But I’ve always wanted to do it and I’ve never going to get another opportunity like that – originating a role on Broadway with Julie again and with so many people that worked on Across the Universe and that was just the most fun. I mean, Across the Universe was 8 months so it’s not that much longer. I can’t wait.

Did they see you in Across the Universe? Is that how they knew that they really wanted you for the role?

Evan: Yeah. She asked me right away if I wanted to do it and I can never say no to Julie.

How long is the rehearsal process?

Evan: Let’s see. 3 months. We start in June and we go into October so about 3 months.

What theater are you going to be in?

Evan: I’ve been told it’s the theater that Young Frankenstein is in right now.

Are you going on the road or will you be taking it on the road?

Evan: I’m not sure. Right now it’s just New York.

Are the songs the type that in the tradition of a musical you have to listen to them in the context of the story or is it more like stand alone?

Evan: No, I think you can hear them just on their own. And that’s one of the cool things about it being Bono and The Edge is that they actually sound like hit songs. So, no, I think the soundtrack will be good too because they’re like pop songs.

About the soundtrack, was there one song when you first heard it that you thought this is really, really going to be a hit?

Evan: Yeah. I mean there are a couple, but I love my solo. It’s just a beautiful song. It reminds me of… I kept going it’s the On My Own moments from Les Mis. It’s that kind of feeling. When I heard it – you know, I’m obsessed with David Bowie and my favorite David Bowie song is Ashes to Ashes – and I heard the song and there’s this twangy instrument in it and they looked at me and they said “Yeah, we wanted a song that sounded like Ashes to Ashes” and I just went “Whoa!”

Have they announced the story? Does it follow the comic book and/or films’ storyline? I don’t know much about it so…

Evan: Yeah, it’ll pull some things from the films but it’s based more on the comic book and the origin of Spider-Man even before there was a Spider-Man. So it’s going to be a little different. There’s going to be old villains and new villains.

This sounds very interesting with the wirework and villains.

Evan: Yeah! Wait until you see the villains. I wish I could tell you who the villain is. (laughs) I really wish.

Are they villains we’ve never seen in the comics or the movies?

Evan: Uh, yeah. There’s one that’s more of a Greek mythology kind of thing.

What’s the name?

Evan: I can’t say the name but it’s going to be awesome.

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