‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Cancels Broadway Run, Blaming Scott Rudin

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Cancels Broadway Run, Blaming Scott Rudin

Kill a mockingbird“, Aaron SorkinThe stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s beloved coming-of-age novel will not be returning to Broadway as previously announced.

A production spokesperson declined to comment on the cancellation of Variety. News of the hasty cancellation was first reported by entertainment outlet Showbiz 411.

The play, which opened on Broadway in 2018, played its last performance at the Shubert Theater on January 16. At the time, it was reported that the show would reopen in June at the Belasco Theater. The date was later moved to November 2, with the planned venue moving to the Music Box Theater. Now the play will come to a complete halt, according to a report from The New York Times.

In an email obtained by The Times and sent Thursday evening to the show’s cast and crew, playwright Sorkin and director Bartlett Sher blamed the decision on the show’s senior producer. Scott Roudin. Sorkin and Sher reportedly wrote in the email that Rudin, who retired from an active role on the show last year after allegations of his abusive behavior towards staff have erupted“reinserted himself as a producer and for reasons frankly incomprehensible to both of us, he prevented the play from reopening.”

The Times also obtained an email Rudin sent to Sorkin and Sher on Friday, in which the producer credited his decision due to concerns about the show’s profitability if it were to open later this year.

“The reason I chose not to bring ‘TKAM’ back has to do with my lack of confidence in the climate for the games next winter,” Rudin said in the email. “I don’t believe a refit of ‘Mockingbird’ would have been competitive in the marketplace.”

When “To Kill A Mockingbird” premiered in 2018, it was an immediate financial success, averaging $2 million in ticket sales per week and recouping its investment in 19 weeks. It also received largely positive reviews and was nominated for nine awards at the 2019 Tony Awards, with Celia Keenan-Bolger winning for her role as Scout Finch. He found himself at the center of controversy after Rudin’s lawyers shut down dozens of community and nonprofit productions of a different adaptation of playwright Christopher Sergel’s novel that premiered in 1991, for which the producer eventually apologized.

When the play resumed performances last October, after Broadway closed in March 2020, original star Jeff Daniels returned to the role of Atticus Finch, and the series continued to sell well. However, after Daniels left on January 2 amid a slump in sales on Broadway amid the pandemic, the show’s takings dropped significantly.

A production of the play started in London’s West End last March, starring Rafe Spall and Gwyneth Keyworth as Atticus and Scout. Additionally, a US national tour kicked off in Boston in April. Both productions will remain open during the Broadway production shutdown.

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