Brow Beat

Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird Won’t Be Staged in a Federal Courtroom After All

A black and white image. Writer-director Aaron Sorkin attends the 2018 Writers Guild Awards L.A. Ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 11, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Aaron Sorkin at the 2018 Writers Guild Awards.
Charley Gallay / Getty Images

After a contentious legal battle over the upcoming Broadway adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s estate and Scott Rudin’s production company Rudinplay have reached a settlement. The litigation, in which Lee’s estate alleged the Aaron Sorkin-adapted play mischaracterized Atticus Finch, drew backlash from Rudin on the basis that Lee had already turned a critical eye towards Atticus in her follow-up novel Go Set a Watchman, which was published the year before Lee’s death in 2016. Lee had also reportedly approved the Sorkin play adaptation before she died.

The litigations got so heated that, at one point, Rudin threatened to take the matter to court, where a jury could decide whether or not the play honored Lee’s legacy. According to a joint statement from Lee’s estate and Rudinplay, such theatrics will no longer be necessary:

On May 10, 2018, Rudinplay and the Estate of Nelle Harper Lee amicably settled ongoing litigation concerning the upcoming Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Written by Aaron Sorkin, the play will be directed by Bartlett Sher and will star Jeff Daniels in the role of Atticus Finch. The production will proceed on schedule, with opening night set for December 13, 2018, at the Shubert Theater. Previews will begin on November 1, 2018.