Though ‘Spider-Man’ leaving Broadway, a part stays

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jan 5, 2014 - 19:17
  • Updated : Jan 5, 2014 - 19:17
In this theater publicity image released by The O and M Co., Christopher Tierney portrays Spider-Man in the musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” in New York. (AP-Yonhap News)
NEW YORK (AP) ― Spider-Man is swinging into history.

Producers of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” said Thursday that the Smithsonian Institution is inducting one of the hero’s first costumes into the permanent collection at the National Museum of American History in Washington.

The red-and-blue costume designed by Eiko Ishioka and worn by actor Reeve Carney will join a collection of iconic Americana that boasts the ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz,” a Kermit the Frog puppet, the first car driven across the United States, a lock of Sir Walter Scott’s hair, Tony Hawk’s first skateboard and a light bulb made by Thomas Edison.

“The Smithsonian is the gatekeeper when it comes to the American popular culture canon, so this feels like a kind of coronation for all of us,” said Michael Cohl, a lead producer.

Ishioka, an Academy Award-winner who designed surrealistic costumes for such films as “Mirror Mirror,” “The Cell” and Francis Ford Coppola’s “Dracula,” earned a Tony nomination for her big, bold costumes for “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” including the tricky task of freshening Spider-Man’s iconic look.

To make it, Ishioka, who died in 2012, came up with a new spider design on the costume’s chest and had to make sure her new suit didn’t stray too far from Marvel Comic’s signature look, according to Tracy Roberts, Ishioka’s studio manager.

Ishioka ignored the comic book’s Crayola-like blue and red for a sophisticated ombre effect in which shades of color graduate from light to dark or dark to light. A close look at Spider-Man’s suit reveals many variations of color as the red arms gradually bleed into the blue legs. “She wanted to make it her own, and I think she achieved that in a really great way by painting within the lines but really giving it her own spin,” said Roberts.