Producer Scott Rudin is to Blame for “to Kill a Mockingbird” by Aaron Sorkin’s Sudden Cancellation of Its Return to Broadway

To Kill A Mockingbird, Aaron Sorkin’s theatrical version of Harper Lee’s renowned coming-of-age novel, will not return to Broadway as previously promised. Variety was denied comment from a production spokeswoman on the cancellation. Showbiz 411 was the first outlet to break the news of the abrupt cancellation.

On Jan. 16, the final performance of the Broadway production, which opened in 2018, was held at the Shubert Theatre. The Belasco Theater, where the musical had previously played, was set to reopen in June, according to previous reports. The date was eventually changed to Nov. 2, and the location was shifted to the Music Box Theatre. It has been reported that the play will now come to an end.

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On Thursday night, author Aaron Sorkin and director Bartlett Sher addressed an email to the cast and crew of the show, in which they blamed the production’s original primary producer, Scott Rudin. As described by Sorkin and Sher, Rudin “reinserted himself as producer and for reasons which are, frankly, unfathomable to us both,” he halted the play from reopening after Rudin withdrew from active participation in the production last year following complaints of his abusive behavior against personnel.

Producer Scott Rudin is to blame for To Kill a Mockingbird by Aaron Sorkin's sudden cancellation of its return to Broadway
Producer Scott Rudin is to blame for To Kill a Mockingbird by Aaron Sorkin’s sudden cancellation of its return to Broadway

This decision was made due to concerns about the show’s profitability if it were to reopen at a later date this year, as Rudin explained in an email to Sorkin and Sher obtained by the Times on Friday. I decided not to bring TKAM back because of my lack of faith in the playwrighting atmosphere next winter,” Rudin explained in an email. Remounting “Mockingbird” would have failed to compete in the marketplace, according to me.

Upon its release in 2018, “To Kill a Mockingbird” raked in an average of $2 million per week in ticket sales and recouped its cost in just 19 weeks. Additionally, it was well-received and nominated for nine Tony Awards in 2019, including best play for a female lead for Celia Keenan-Bolger in the role of Scout Finch. In 1991, Rudin’s lawyers shut down hundreds of community and non-profit productions of Christopher Sergel’s adaptation of the novel, which the producer subsequently apologized for, causing a lot of controversies.

Original actor Jeff Daniels returned to the character of Atticus Finch when the play began performances in October, following the Broadway suspension in March 2020, and the show continued to sell out successfully. The show’s earnings plummeted after Daniels resigned on January 2 amid a decline in Broadway sales due to the epidemic.

This March, Rafe Spall, and Gwyneth Keyworth starred as Atticus and Scout in a West End version of the play. In addition, in April, a nationwide tour of the United States kicked off in Boston. While the Broadway show closes, the Off-Broadway performances will continue to run.

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