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Sneak Peek at 'Spider-Man' Reveals Musical's Peter Parker?

Reeve carney The New York Post's Michael Riedel snuck into a secret preview of Julie Taymor's upcoming Spider-Man Broadway blockbuster this week, and he's got some news that makes our spider senses tingle. Okay, bad joke -- but seriously, this is big.

According to Riedel, Reeve Carney (right) is "said to be the leading contender to play Peter Parker" in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. For all you non-comic book geeks out there, that means he'd also be wearing the tights as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

From " 'Spidey' Senses Tingling":

Five young singers performed six songs from the show, including the haunting "Rise Above," which is as good as any rock ballad in "Rent."

The kid who sang that song, Reeve Carney, fluttered the hearts of all ladies in the auditorium. He seemed to have impressed Bono as well, and is said to be the leading contender to play Peter Parker.

(Vulture notes that actor-musician Carney, who also performs with his own eponymous band, will appear as Ferdinand in director Julie Taymor's upcoming film adaptation of The Tempest. Not that this info is a confirmation that he's been cast as Spider-Man, but it would certaily seem to give him an edge. Then again, Jim Sturgess -- who starred in Taymor's Across the Universe -- was previously rumored to be starring as Peter Parker/Spider-Man after participating with Evan Rachel Wood in early readings of the musical , so you never know.)

 Riedel also has this nugget from Taymor:

Julie Taymor... recently warned a group of theater insiders to steer clear of the word "musical." Spider-Man, she added, "is not going to sing and dance in tights." A better description of her show, she suggested, is a "circus rock-'n'-roll drama."

Spiderman_broadway posterTaymor confirmed that the Spider-Man musical circus rock-'n'-roll drama will not be based on the movie franchise, instead pulling more directly from the comic books for its story and visuals. "Our show is going to have a comic-book, pop-up sensibility," Taymor said. Villains will include Green Goblin, Carnage, Electro, Rhino, Swarm, and Lizard -- plus a new bad girl named Swiss Miss, created for the show (this character was listed simply as "Principal Female" in casting notices).

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is scheduled to open Feb. 18, 2010 at the Hilton Theatre on Broadway. Read Riedel's full story here. For a more detailed account of the preview, check out the Modern Fabulosity blog.

In other superhero news, Marvel Entertainment is assembling a group of writers to develop and write scripts for future Marvel comic book movies. Variety reports:

The writers group will be similar to that created by the fellowship program the Walt Disney Co. has been running since 1990...

Marvel will invite up to five writers each year to work on specific projects, said a source familiar with the deal. Those could include staffers behind Marvel's comicbooks...

Gathering of scribes will help Marvel come up with creative ways to launch its lesser-known properties, such as Black Panther, Cable, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Nighthawk and Vision.

The writers currently working on screenplays for high-profile adaptations such as Iron Man 2, Thor, and The Avengers will not be part of the group, which suggests that more new up-and-coming talent will be recruited. The group's first members are expected to be hired and begin working this year.

-- Daniel Lehman

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