Kill a mockingbirdAaron Sorkin’s hit theatrical adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel currently on hiatus due to Covid, won’t be returning to Broadway after all, and Sorkin and director Bartlett Sher blame original lead producer Scott Rudin.
According to emails obtained by The New York Times, Sorkin and Sher informed the cast and crew last night of the show’s cancellation. “At the last moment Scott re-inserted himself as producer and for reasons frankly incomprehensible to both of us prevented the play from being reopened,” Sorkin and Sher wrote, according to The temperature.
Rudin, of course, is the Broadway and Hollywood producer who has ostensibly walked away from all of his productions, including mockingbirdfollowing allegations of intimidation and physical violence against its staff.
Rudin, according to an email obtained by The temperatureinformed Sorkin and Sher that his decision “not to bring back TKAM has to do with my lack of confidence in the climate of the games next winter”.
Rudin continued: “I don’t believe that a rise in mockingbird would have been competitive in the market.
Although Rudin has ceased to take an active role in the play’s production, he continues to control the rights to the stage adaptation.
mockingbird opened on Broadway in 2018 and quickly became one of the theatre’s most popular tickets, recouping the capital cost of $7.5 million after just 19 weeks. A national tour starring Richard Thomas as Atticus Finch was launched in April, as was a West End production a month earlier. These productions would not be affected by the closing of Broadway.
The Broadway production resumed performances in October 2021 following the Covid 2020 shutdown. Original star Jeff Daniels returned to his role as Atticus in a bid to effectively revive the production, leaving the production for good in January, a date at which mockingbirdand other Broadway shows, have been hit hard at the box office by a surge in Covid cases.
mockingbird, then starring Greg Kinnear as Atticus, went on what was to be a temporary hiatus on January 16, leaving the Shubert Theater but vowing to return to the Belasco this summer. When this did not happen, production was scheduled to resume at the Music Box Theater in November.
In emails obtained by The temperatureSher and Sorkin told cast and crew they were “heartbroken” by the latest and said they were “mourning the loss of all jobs – on stage, backstage and in front of the house – who had simply disappeared”.
Rudin, in his email to Sorkin and Sher, said, “It’s too risky and the downsides are too great. I’m sorry you’re disappointed. It’s the right decision for the long life of the series.
News of the production’s cancellation was originally reported by Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411 website.
Deadline has reached out to the production for comment.