Academy Award-winning A Few Good Men writer Aaron Sorkin will return to Broadway in December 2018 with a new stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird.
Sorkin recently revealed a few additional details about his approach to the material, which diverges slightly from Lee’s 1960 novel and Horton Foote’s screenplay to the subsequent 1962 film.
When the curtain rises on the world premiere of Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird, audiences won’t encounter the morally sound Atticus Finch they know.
“He becomes Atticus Finch by the end of the play,” Sorkin told Vulture. “And while he’s going along, he has a kind of running argument with Calpurnia, the housekeeper, which is a much bigger role in the play I just wrote. He is in denial about his neighbors and his friends and the world around him, that it is as racist as it is, that a Maycomb County jury could possibly put Tom Robinson in jail when it’s so obvious what happened here. He becomes an apologist for these people.”
Atticus’ journey, Sorkin says, will have deeper resonance in the wake of the August attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a car plowed through a crowd of peaceful protesters who were demonstrating against an-alt right white nationalist rally. One woman was killed in the tragedy.
“All of a sudden, Donald Trump stood up at a news conference and said there are good people on both sides. I went, ‘Wow, bingo. We hit it right in the middle,’” Sorkin said.
Last year, Sorkin spoke with Playbill just after To Kill a Mockingbird was announced for Broadway. “I thought, ‘Well how hard can this be? Harper Lee has written such a great novel, it stands up pretty easily as a play, just take her scenes and dramatize them.’ That doesn’t work at all,” he said.