It’s a good thing that Aaron Sorkin is so adept at writing courtroom scenes because the screenwriter might soon be involved in a real-life legal drama.
The Oscar-winner is being sued by Harper Lee’s estate.
Sorkin had planned a theatre adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird which was set to be produced by Scott Rudin who had previously collaborated with Sorkin on The Social Network and The Newsroom.
Lee had given her approval for the adaptation just months before dying in 2015.
But, the late author’s family is now having second thoughts about the retelling of Atticus Finch’s story (which has cast Jeff Daniels in the lead) due to claims that Sorkin will be straying from Lee’s original vision.
“As far as Atticus and his virtue goes, this is a different take on Mockingbird than Harper Lee’s or Horton Foote’s,” said Sorkin. “He becomes Atticus Finch by the end of the play, 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 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.”
The estate is now demanding a declaratory judgment that the characters in the adaptation may in no way be altered.
As Atticus Finch said, “the Best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open.”