“To Kill a Mockingbird,” Aaron Sorkin’s acclaimed stage adaptation of the Harper Lee novel, will not reopen on Broadway following a dispute between the creators and disgraced producer Scott Rudin.
On Thursday night, playwright Sorkin and director Bartlett Sher notified the production members that the Tony-winning play would not resume after multiple hiatuses, The New York Times reported.
In emails obtained by the Times, Sorkin and Bartlett claimed Rudin was responsible for the shutdown. The producer had not been involved with the show in an official capacity since last April, after he was accused of physical abuse and bullying. However, Rudin still controls the rights to the stage adaptation of the classic text.
“At the last moment, Scott reinserted himself as producer and for reasons which are, frankly, incomprehensible to us both, he stopped the play from reopening,” Sorkin and Sher wrote to the cast and crew.
The “heartbroken” duo continued that they “mourn the loss of all the jobs — onstage, backstage, and front of house – that just disappeared.”
In a Friday email, Rudin explained that relaunching the play was “too risky” given current climate on Broadway, where ticket sales have not yet recovered from the pandemic.
“The reason I opted not to bring back TKAM has to do with my lack of confidence in the climate for plays next winter,” Rudin wrote. “I do not believe that a remount of Mockingbird would have been competitive in the marketplace.”
The hit show opened at the Shubert Theater in late 2018 and went on hiatus when the pandemic struck in March 2020. It reopened its doors the following October, only for star Jeff Daniels to depart the production in January. After Greg Kinnear replaced him as Atticus Finch, declining ticket sales amidst the resurging pandemic forced the production to undergo another hiatus. A third relaunch, originally set for June 1 at the Belasco Theater, was pushed back to Nov. 2 at the Music Box Theater.
According to the Times, the Broadway play’s closure will not affect other showings of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The production opened on London’s West End in March, as did a U.S. national tour in Boston a month later.
Showbiz411 first reported that the show would not be reopening.
TheWrap has reached out to the production for comment.