‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Broadway production company countersues Harper Lee’s estate

Times Square_Broadway
[Photo Credit: Randy Lemoine via Flickr]

In a courtroom drama as fascinating as the novel itself — things are once again heating up surrounding the production of the upcoming Broadway adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird.

The production company for the show is fighting back against a lawsuit brought forth last month by the estate of the late Alabama author Harper Leewho wrote the beloved 1960 novel, by introducing a countersuit.

Hollywood producer Scott Rudin’s production company Rudinplay filed a $10 million countersuit on Monday against the estate for damages, threatening to cancel the play scheduled to open in December.

“Investors are not willing to invest millions of dollars when a cloud exits,” claims the lawsuit.

The original suit alleged screenwriter Aaron Sorkin wrongly altered Atticus Finch and other characters from the book in the script, despite a clause in the contract stipulating that “the play shall not derogate or depart in any manner from the spirit of the novel nor alter its characters.”

However, the firm that represents Rudin’s company said Sorkin’s script “is a faithful adaptation of a singular novel which has been crafted well within the constraints of the agreement executed by both Harper Lee and the play’s producers before Ms. Lee’s death. 

Monday’s lawsuit further argues, “The Agreement did not give Ms. Lee approval rights over the script of the Play, much less did it give her right to purport to edit individual lines of dialogue.”