It's a right of passage for almost every Irish student that they do 'To Kill a Mockingbird' for their Junior Cert and for many it holds a special place in their hearts for the rest of their lives.
Which is why today's news that Hollywood producer Scott Rudin has bought the rights to adapt Harper Lee's classic into a Broadway show would make a lot of people uneasy. We already have an excellent film adaptation of the book starring the wonderful Gregory Peck. Maybe it's best to leave well enough alone and not risk tarnishing a classic?
However the news that arguably the best Hollywood screenwriter working today, Aaron Sorkin, is giving us great relief. Sorkin has worked with Rudin to great success in the past with the pair collaborating on Moneyball, The Social Network and Steve Jobs. Commenting on the announcement, Sorkin said that it was both exhilarating and daunting to tackle such a cherished classic.
“‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is one of the most revered pieces of 20th century American literature,” Mr. Sorkin said in an interview with the New York Times. “It lives a little bit differently in everybody’s imagination in the way a great novel ought to, and then along I come. I’m not the equal of Harper Lee. No one is.”
The Broadway adaptation is the second big shock for fans of the novel in the past two years with a 'sequel' to the book, 'Go Set a Watchman', released last year. Unsurprisingly Harper Lee had many offers for the Theatre rights for Mockingbird over the years but she felt that Scott Rudin was the right man to take on the challenge.
If the Broadway run is a success, expect the show to be brought to London at some point and perhaps even an International tour that will include Dublin.