Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Brought in to Re-Write SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK

Late word out of the Great White Way is that veteran comic book writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has been brought in to re-write the book for the much maligned but apparently highly lucrative Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. Deadline has the story.

Aguirre-Sacasa is the writer of such comics as Marvel Knights 4, Marvel Divas, The Stand adaptations, and has made contributions to series like Young Avengers Presents and I Am An Avenger. He's no stranger to theater, having written the book for It's a Plane, IT'S SUPERMAN!.


  1. Technically, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa REVISED the book for “It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman!” for a 2010 revival in Dallas of the original 1966 musical originally written by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse, the team responsible for “Bye Bye Birdie.”

    The story of this “Spider-Man” musical is going to make for a great non-fiction book some day.  Fascinating.

  2. I picture the writer, moments after signing, finally with a moment to himself. His pride melts to confusion, as he realizes he has no idea how to fix the unfixable.

    Then, he cries.

  3. He’s also one of the writers of the excellent HBO series “Big Love”.

  4. Didn’t he write quite a few issues of Spectacular Spider-Man?  I think he wrote a large chunk of that series, no?

  5. But its a musical, not a play, right?  Are they going to re-work the songs too?  This just seems like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  6. Leta hope he cuts Swiss Miss from the show. Just thinking about the name makes me shudder

  7. @josh  Your scenario works… but I picture the writer, giggling to himself in that first private moment, thinking, “If I fix it and it works I’ll get all the credit, and if it doesn’t I’ll get none of the blame, plus they’re paying me a big fat check to write Spider-Man!”

    So I think it’s really a win-win for him.  Not that it’ll be easy, and not that he doesn’t have the professional pride to want to get the job done well… but there’s no way for him to fail here.

  8. @Neb  Yes.

  9. @RaceMcCloud: For someone who has no ties to the show, that we know of yet, you find a bright spot in almost everything that has happened for the show.

    I really want a death now to see how you spin it. 🙂

  10. @TheNextChampion  What bright spot are you talking about?  I’ve said in prior threads that it’s a spectacular bomb like no other that Broadway has seen… and yet, somehow, it’s still packing them in.

    Here I said that the whole behind-the-scenes story will be fascinating, and that the current production is so screwed up that there’s virtually no reputation risk taken by anyone coming into this thing as a script doctor.  If it fails, it’s because it was broken beyond repair.  If it succeeds, this dude save the show and gets a ton new opportunities.  Win-win for him.

    This show is a disaster.  But it’s a compelling disaster that people keep buying tickets for.  It’s fascinating to me.

    BTW, dude… a smiley face emoticon doesn’t change the fact that you just said you’re hoping for someone to die.  Just sayin’. 

  11. @TheNextChampion  Oh, and here’s what I opened up the comment on the last “Turn Off the Dark” related thread here.  Yeah, I’m DEFINITELY a plant trying to drum up positive word-of-mouth. ;^):

    “As a guy working in the NY theatre community I’ve been one of the biggest defenders of this production on these boards… but aside from the reviews, for months people I know and trust in the industry who have seen this have all said the same thing: technical issues in previews are completely forgivable, but the book is an ungodly mess, Act 2 is literally incoherent, the Arachne character they’ve created at the center of it all is laughable, and the score is mediocre on its best day.

    Also, the non-comics people I know who’ve seen it are completely baffled by some of the comics-related choices and things they attempt to shoehorn in there.  Mary Jane calls Peter “Tiger” near the end and it comes out of nowhere, character-wise, and I’ve essentially heard more than once, “What the hell is a Carnage?”

    But if you like your Broadway disasters big, expensive, and dangerous, get yourself to the Foxwoods theatre NOW!”

  12. Man you try to make a joke and it turns into an essay….

  13. @TheNextChampion  No worries, bro.  I definitely saw the bright spots early on.  The only bright spots now are from the flames engulfing the entire production and dragging it down to the pits.

  14. @TheNextChampion  Also, I know this has been brought up before, but it’s worth kicking around now.  “Spider-Man” the musical sounds about as bad as the “Batman” musical would have been, and about as bad as that “Superman” musical from the 60’s was/is (it’s terrible).  

    Here’s the link to the “Batman: The Musical” tribute page.  It was clearly being written by guys who had no access to anything “Batman” aside from Tim Burton’s first movie.  (Sadly, comic book legitimacy is all over “Spider-Man”, but it’s like they did their research, read a crapload of Spidey books… and took all the worst stuff from them and ran with that.) 

  15. I happened to see a Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa play a few years back. The name escapes me right now, but there was Fantastic Four monooply game sitting on the bookshelf the whole time. (It was during the time when he was writing FOUR for Marvel Knights.) He’s a good writer, loved his Nightcrawler.

    It’s a shame I’m not going to see his version of the book, though, as I’m seeing it Sunday! 

  16. Ahh, just looked it up. I saw a production of RAS’s “DARK MATTERS” which puts a spin on alien abduction and family turmoil! (There is a scene that’s oddly reminiscent of that episode of friends where Joey is in a play about aliens falling in love.)

  17. I really didn’t like his Spider-Man comics. But they have to be better than this musical, right?

  18. Great news: Sacasa’s run on “Sensational Spider-Man” is one of the best Spider-Man runs I’ve read.  His “Feral” arc & Civil War one shot were highlights of the comics year.  Add to it that he’s an award winning playwright, and it’s a winning combination.