Actress Natalie Mendoza has officially dropped out of Broadway's troubled Spider-Man musical to recover from an injury she suffered onstage - but insists quitting the production was "a difficult decision to make".
Mendoza, who played villainess Arachne in Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, was hit on the head with a weighted rope during the production's first preview performance last month (28Nov10).
She returned to the stage three days later but took another two weeks off after suffering nausea and headaches. Understudy America Olivo took over the role.
Insiders claimed earlier this week (begs27Dec10) that Mendoza was in talks to leave the production, and she hinted at the claims in a post on her page, declaring: "Can feel a trip to India coming on & visiting my magic little orphanage Ramana's Garden in Rishikesh. Raising funds as we speak. Be the change."
Lead Producer Michael Cohl confirmed the gossip in a statement on Thursday (30Dec10) and Mendoza has opened up about her decision to leave the Broadway show.
She says, "It has been a difficult decision to make, but I regret that I am unable to continue on Spider-Man as I recover from my injury. I wish Julie (Taymor, director) and the cast and crew every success with this production."
Taymor adds, "Natalie is a talented performer. We've appreciated her contributions to the show and we wish her all the best."
Mendoza is one of four actors to have suffered injuries onstage in the $65 million (£43.3 million) production, and she is not the first star to leave the show. Earlier this year (10), both Alan Cumming, who was set to play the villainous Green Goblin, and Evan Rachel Wood, cast as Spider-Man's leading lady Mary Jane, quit, citing scheduling difficulties.