U2 explain Spider-Man 'opera'

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

image source, Not Specified
image captionU2 have written the lyrics and music for Turn Off The Dark

Bono and The Edge have described their forthcoming Spider-Man musical as "dizzy" and "not a straight take on the myth".

Turn Off The Dark, the production the Dublin band has written music and lyrics for, is set to open on Broadway in New York in 2010.

They also confirmed American actress Evan Rachel Wood would play the part of MJ and revealed more about the other characters.

Speaking to Radio 1's Edith Bowman, Bono said: "We've got a new villain, it's a girl. It's a very extraordinary role. We've taken it to a much more dizzy place than you'd expect. We've got big tunes. We're very proud of it."

More details

Bono explained the characters won't be the same which appeared in comic or the film adaptations of the original Marvel comic series.

"Our Peter Parker is much more…not Kurt Cobain, but a kind of slacker, a more kind of shy sort of guy," said Bono.

"It touches on opera, it touches on rock 'n' roll. There are some real character driven songs as well, very unusual song types for us," explained guitarist The Edge.

Not musical fans

The guitarist was keen not to describe the production, directed by Julie Taymor, as a musical, but rather an "opera".

"It is a new challenge. The thing is we don't really like musicals. Most musicals are really pants. They're really not very cool," said The Edge.

"It is much more like opera than a straight musical. We're actually not calling it a musical for that reason because we don't want to put people off.

"We just thought, 'Well if we're going to do this we should do something that knocks it out of the park and hits on every level with great tunes'."

Evan Rachel Wood, previously star of films like Thirteen and The Wrestler, will play the role of MJ.

"She's the greatest actor of her generation, she's the one to watch," said Bono. "She happens to sing like a bird, it's like a true voice.

"She's a very pure spirit and a very bright mind and she brings the part of MJ to life really."

Despite their involvement in the writing the band said they will not appear themselves.

"We made one rule for ourselves though that we would never have Spider-Man singing. A guy singing in tights can't happen," joked The Edge.

U2, who recently performed two nights at London's Wembley Stadium, are currently touring the UK with their 360° tour.

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