Harper Lee estate sues Broadway’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ play

(Reuters) – The estate of “To Destroy a Mockingbird” writer Harper Lee has sued the producer of an upcoming Broadway adaptation, arguing that writer Aaron Sorkin’s script deviates too much from the beloved novel about race relations in the Depression-period U.S. South.

FILE Photo: U.S. President George W. Bush (R) prior to awarding the Presidential Medal of Flexibility to American novelist Harper Lee (L) in the East Home of the White House, in this November 5, 2007, file photo. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Data files

The lawsuit submitted on Tuesday in federal court docket in Alabama asks a decide to take care of a contract dispute with producer Scott Rudin by offering the estate ultimate say on irrespective of whether Sorkin’s script departs from the spirit of the 1960 novel or alters its people.

The estate’s representative, Tonja B. Carter, alleges that the script alters quite a few people, such as protagonist Atticus Finch, who is portrayed as being originally naive to racism. The script also “did not current a fair depiction of 1930s tiny-city Alabama” by tying it to today’s social climate, according to the match.

Carter explained Sorkin, an Oscar winner and the creator of Emmy-successful Television set collection such as the political drama “The West Wing,” included two people to the script and instructed trade magazine Playbill that the ebook as published “doesn’t work at all” as a participate in.

The participate in is established to open up in preview on Nov. 1 in New York and stars Jeff Daniels as Finch, a attorney who defends a black male towards a phony rape demand in the racially charged 1930s South.

Associates for Rudin and Sorkin did not straight away reply to a message trying to find comment.

The match alleges Rudin ignored and resisted Carter, and that a February draft of the participate in “exacerbated her fears,” according to the complaint submitted in U.S. District Courtroom for the Southern District of Alabama.

In reaction, an legal professional for Rudin’s company, Rudinplay Inc, explained in a letter to the estate that the company and not the estate had ultimate say in excess of the script, according to the lawsuit.

Rudin is a big Broadway and Hollywood producer, having received an Oscar and various Tony Awards, often earning honours for revivals of mid-century American theatre.

Lee died in 2016 at age 89.

“To Destroy a Mockingbird” was met with large praise on its publication, successful the Pulitzer Prize and earning Gregory Peck an Academy Award for ideal actor in the acclaimed 1962 monitor adaptation.

In Lee’s only other novel, “Go Established a Watchman,” released in 2015 but published prior to “Mockingbird,” Finch is depicted as a bigot and racist who opposed desegregation efforts in the United States.

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